Today is the World Children’s Day in commemoration of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). To amplify children’s voice in our society, Nation Publications Limited, together with United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), has allowed the youth to take over this page dedicated to burning issues in our society.
Long walks to school
Shira Waluza, 14, is a Form One student at Monkey Bay Community Day Secondary School.
She hails from Mbwadzulu Village, T/A Nankumba in Mangochi District.
Waluza lives with her grandparents and rides six kilometres every day to school.
This is a challenge to her as it affects her education because most of the times she gets to school late.
She always finds her friends in class and sometimes she is either punished or sent back home by teachers for being late.
This is a challenge not only affecting Waluza but many girls in Monkey Bay.
Some girls, whose parents cannot afford bicycles, walk long distances to school.
Along the way, they face many challenges such as sexual abuse.
The future of girls in Monkey Bay rests in education.
Many want to continue but are discouraged by long distances. Government should step in and build hostels so that girls stay close to their school.—Esmy Gama, Monkey Bay Secondary School
Suffering in silence
As a girl, I feel that our dreams, thoughts and desire for education are not being fulfilled.
Our voices are not being heard. We have lost all our dreams of education in the name of tradition that endangers our lives and takes away our innocence.
The so-called traditional practices are defiling and contaminating us, leaving us impure.
Parents who are supposed to be our protectors now want to use us as collateral for their debts.
No, this has to stop.
I urge my fellow youths, especially girls, to deny anyone to take away our right to existence and enjoyment of life.
The remedy to this misery is education.
I ask all the youth in the country to stand and fight against inhuman cultural practices that treat us like animals.
They are destroying our lives, education and futures.
Mangochi Secondary School
Form 4 student
End harmful practices
It is no secret that our culture has abused ‘respect’ to silence young people.
The youth are not given the right to be heard. Elders want young people only to speak when spoken to, pushing us to some mute corner.
But this is fast changing, if views posted on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, are anything to go by.
Social media activism is alive in the country, thumbs up to the youth for that.
If the same spirit was practised in real life, definitely young Malawians would graduate from passive observers to active participants in the democratic political dialogue.
Social networks are key in the dispensation of information and access to information.
Government should prioritise ICT literacy in all schools. The cost of computers and internet should come down.
Fellow young Malawians, it is high time we applied the same energy seen in social media activism to amplify dynamic views of youthful Malawians.
Form 3, St. Monica Girls Secondary School
A plea to girls, parents
This is our chance to achieve our goals. Let us be ambitious and work hard towards achieving the future we desire. To parents, it is your responsibility to encourage children to work hard in their studies.
With hard work, comes a brighter futures.
Education is the only way we can fulfil our dreams.
Please, dear parents do not be the ones to destroy our only stepping stone to a good life, which is education.
To all girls, please let us concentrate on our studies and fulfil our dreams. With education, everything is possible.
Yes we can.
Form 3, St Monica Girls Secondary School n