19 November 2017
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Friday, 27 October 2017 06:35

Malawi needs to invest in children to develop - MEJN

Written by  Anjoya Mwanza

Nkhotakota, October 26, 2017: Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) says the country needs to invest more resources in children and youth issues if she is to develop.

MEJN Regional Coordinator for South, Mike Banda said this Thursday during District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting organised to encourage participatory budgeting through local governments in the country in order to promote pro child sensitive budgets.

He said it is high time Malawi took issues that children have in budgetary form to contribute towards equity, efficiency, accountability and effectiveness in the management of decentralized resources in order to advance children’s rights in the country.

Banda emphasized it was with pity to note that nothing or in rare cases very little is done to promote children who constitutes a greater percentage of the country’s population.

“Imagine that we have over 11,000 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in the country but the nature of education that exists leaves a lot to be desired if we are to develop as a nation. Even the care givers who volunteer themselves at such levels are not motivated because the honorarium is very low and does not come on monthly basis, others would go even for six months without getting it.

“We need to lobby for inclusion of the issues right from parliament into the budget as it is done with some activities like HIV and AIDS as well as adult literacy. It is wrong to conclude that the children and youths benefit from the budget which is just too general, there must be a clear cutline,” he elaborated.

He said Unicef has set aside K 29 million to cover three Area Development Committees (ADCs) in four districts of Lilongwe, Nkhotakota, Nsanje and Mangochi.

The Coordinator said the project is pegged at five months, “the time may be minimal but we believe in starting small and getting focused. We will then build a bigger case out of the small intervention we do and roll out to as many areas we can.”

MEJN is a coalition of trade unions, professional associates as well as civil society, community and faith-based organisations among others committed to championing participatory economic governance of poverty reduction in the country.

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