Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church has urged parents, chiefs and State security agencies to protect children against trafficking and any form of gender-based violence (GBV).
He made the appeal on Wednesday at Chinsogholo Primary School during the presentation of gift packs to learners at the school.
Mtumbuka said the gift packs were sourced from children from the United States of America’s Cross Catholic Outreach and will benefit 8 828 learners out of the district’s 28 000 learners.
He said: “The future of this country lies with these children. Therefore, parents and chiefs should shoulder the responsibility of making sure that children go to school.
“Above all, the tendency of allowing child traffickers who entice parents with mouth-watering incentives should stop because our children, especially girls, are subjected to modern day slavery.”
Mtumbuka said he was appalled by reports that out of 75 learners that enrolled for Standard One at one of the schools at Songwe Border only 15 made it to Standard Eight as the rest were allegedly trafficked to Tanzania.
Standard Seven learner at Chinsogholo Primary School, Alex Tembo, commended the bishop for the gifts.
Acting group village head Mwenilupembe said learners in rural areas lack learning materials.
“The learning materials, therefore, will motivate the learners to remain in school,” he said.
Chiwondo Zone primary education adviser Batamiwe Mwalwanda described the gesture as a true partnership in promoting education in the district.
“Through Bishop Mtumbuka, the diocese is supporting the sector with learning materials in primar,” he said.