Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Karonga Diocese has asked stakeholders in child protection in Chitipa to be vigilant in the fight against child abuse in schools and communities in the district.
Speaking in an interview on Monday at Kawale Primary School during a sensitisation meeting with learners, parents, guardians and traditional leaders, CCJP gender coordinator Janet Mhango said they are strengthening structures that implement child protection interventions in Catholic primary and secondary schools in Chitipa.
She said: “There are many child abuse cases in schools as well as communities. These cases go unreported or if they are reported, authorities destroy evidence.
“I ask children, communities and teachers to report the cases to relevant authorities.”
Kawale School Management Committee chairperson Koloso Msukwa said his committee will work with all stakeholders to ensure zero tolerance to child abuse.
“We have cases of learners involved in indiscipline acts, which results in dropout. Children below 18 are terrorising people and stealing at night,” he said.
Chitipa district principal education officer Briar Simfukwe appealed to children and parents to understand that learners have rights and responsibilities.
“Schools report vandalism cases involving unruly learners. This project has come at the right time and it will create awareness among learners on their rights and responsibilities,” said Simfukwe.
Last week CCJP trained safeguard focal persons in the district’s 25 Catholic schools.
CCJP is implementing Gender and Safeguarding Project.
The three-year project is being funded by Miserier in conjunction with the Diocese of Muenster in Germany.