Gumi Village Child Protection Committee chairperson Joseph Mwalughali has commended World Vision Malawi for intensifying a back to school campaign in Lupembe-Mlare Area Programme in Karonga District.
He said this on Tuesday at Mlare in Paramount Chief Kyungu when the organisation presented reports to stakeholders.
“The project has terminated 72 child marriages. So far, 211 girls, who dropped out of school due to teen pregnancies, early marriages and poverty, have returned,” said Mwalughali.
Geoffrey Mtete, who represented group village head Mwakabanga, admitted that traditional leaders failed their role to sensitise communities to the dangers of child marriages.
“As traditional leaders, our role is to work with village child protection committees to end child marriages which are rampant in the area. However, there was lack of coordination between the committees and traditional leaders,” he said.
Karonga assistant district social welfare officer Katoto Kamwela commended World Vision Malawi for empowering the committees to fight child marriages.
“We are always in touch with traditional leaders and various committees to intensify awareness campaigns against early marriages. We encourage chiefs to formulate by-laws to protect children,” he said.
Chiwondo Zone primary school education adviser Tamibe Mwalwanda said enrolment has improved due to the interventions.
With funding from World Vision Canada, World Vision Malawi is working with village child protection committees to protect children from various forms of abuses in the district.