Njewa chiefs resolve to fight teen marriages

 

About 30 group village heads from Njewa area in Lilongwe Rural have resolved to mobilise their subjects against traditional practices that fuel child marriages and teenage pregnancies.

The resolution was made at a traditional leaders workshop organised by Plan International where the chiefs pledged to engage their subjects on issues of adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH).

Group village head Mugwayi, who represented Traditional Authority Njewa during the workshop said adolescents face many cultural-inflicted challenges.

Some of the chiefs during the meeting

He said the workshop, helped them to realise the need to take action against early pregnancies and child marriages.

“When we go back [to our respective villages], we will have to call the people to inform them of what we have learnt here, we know that most of these child marriages and teen pregnancies are due to poverty. We will find the right way to address the cause so that we can protect our children,” he said.

Plan International Lilongwe Programme Area Yes I Do Alliance coordinator, Joseph Boniface Maere, said traditional leaders are respected in society, hence their involvement in the project.

This, according to Maere, was necessary if issues of SRH are to be accepted and help control deaths and diseases caused due to lack of information among the youth.

The Yes I Do Alliance project is a five-year intervention fighting against teenage pregnancies and child marriages using community leaders to challenge cultural practices that encourage teenage pregnancies and child marriages. n

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