Support girls withdrawn from marriages—social welfare

Karonga district social welfare officer Atupele Mwalweni has appealed for increased complementary support for girls withdrawn from early marriages.

    The officer said the battle to reduce early marriages in the district will not be won without enhancing efforts.

Community members march against child marriages during one of the campaigns

He was commenting on a report by Livingstonia Synod Aids Programme (Lisap) that it withdrew 240 girls from marriages in the district, but later established that only 17 girls out of the 240 have educational support.

Mwalweni said on Monday that although many girls are being withdrawn from marriages, a lot of them are failing to continue with their education due to inadequate support.

“We thank Lisap for the initiative, but there is need for education support for such girls so that they do not return to their marriages.

 “We hear that out of the 240 children withdrawn from marriages, only 17 have educational support.   

“The social welfare office has limited resources and it relies on National Aids Commission for bursaries. As such, it cannot cater for more girls among other needy children,” said Mwalweni 

Lisap monitoring and evaluation officer Gilbert Phiri said the project sought to ensure protection of children from child labour and child marriages so that they participate in development activities that concern them.

He said through the project they have established community-based child protection mechanisms, mother groups as well as community policing structures.in traditional.

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