Parents and Child Health Initiative (Pachi) has launched a back-to-school campaign in Nsanje District to encourage girls who dropped out to return to school.
The campaign followed reports that many girls in the district drop out due to early marriages.
The interventions, implemented through primary school clubs, include drama performances and awareness campaigns that condemn cultural practices that fuel child marriages and encourage girls to remain in school.
In an interview yesterday, Chididi Primary School Club chairperson Beauty Gawani said they have encouraged 10 girls to return to school.
“We engage parents, traditional leaders and teachers on the need to talk to girls who dropped out to return to school,” she said.
Gawani also blamed parents and guardians who send girls to sell fruits to markets instead of sending them to school.
Chididi Primary School head teacher, Lloyd Thom said the club is instrumental in persuading parents and guardians to return girls to school.
“We have also noted a growing interest in education in many girls due to the encouragement rendered by the club,” he said.
Group village head Mtema of Traditional Authority (T/A) Ndamera said the club has also terminated child marriages in the area.
“Most girls went into early marriages, but through Pachi interventions, the situation is changing,” he said.
Agnes Galafa, a teacher at Nyankhwali Primary School in Senior Chief Tengani’s area, said Chigumukire Education Zone has formulated by-laws with traditional leaders to fine parents who marry off children.
With K23 million funding from the European Union, Pachi is implementing a Social Behaviour Change Communication Project dubbed Ifenso under the Spotlight Initiative Programme from May to November this year in the district.