Malawi’s key NGOs UNICEF, Save the Children, Fawema, Rhema and others have stepped up efforts which aims at preserving, promoting and protecting the girl child by holding Open Days to sensitise the public on the importance of the rights of girls.
The efforts are being promoted through an umbrella body called National Girls Education Network (NGEN). Currently the NGEN is being hosted at Save the Children after being with Fawema and Theatre for Change.
Through the Open Days held in different locations countrywide with one held over the weekend at Mkukula Headquarters, role model women took part in the sensitisation so that the young girls can get inspired.
Fawema Project Manager Mphatso Kapalamula said the Open Day is very important because it allows young girls to interact hear testimonies from the women role models who have become success after attaining good education.
“We are encouraging the youths on the importance of education. These youths were invited from various youths club,” she said.
She said the network has two agendas which include encouraging the youths who are already in schools to work hard and encouraging the girls who dropped out from school to go back.
Rhema Institute for Development Executive Director Innocent Semu said girls are facing a lot of challenges hence the effort to bail them out.
Semu urged traditional leaders, sole custodians of cultural practices, not to allow girl children to go for early marriages.
Traditional Authority Mkukula applauded the NGOs for the Open Days initiative, saying he would urge fellow traditional leaders to protect the rights of girls.
One of the women role models, Unity Mwendo, a nurse, encouraged girls to work hard in class and to aspire for high ambitions.
Mwendo said she worked hard to be where she is, saying there were men as her competitors but she decided to remain focused.
NGEN is a network of more than 20 NGOs to protect the girlchild. The initiative is being funded by Unicef.
by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times (Malawi)
September 6, 2018