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Sunday, 05 August 2018 08:21

APW equips Mwanza learners with child rights

Written by  Brian Wasili
Participants to the training pose for a group photo ready to protect their rights - Pic by Brian Wasili Participants to the training pose for a group photo ready to protect their rights - Pic by Brian Wasili

Mwanza, August 4, 2018: Association of Progressive Women (APW) has embarked on a project that is aimed at equipping learners in primary schools of Mwanza through Child-Led Clubs on child rights so that they are protected from child marriage and human trafficking.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on the sidelines of a workshop at Tsupe Primary School on Friday, Project Officer for APW, Emmanuel Limbani underscored the need for learners to know their rights so that they can effectively defend themselves.

“We would like the participants to be well equipped with child rights issues so that they can report once they feel that their rights have been violated in schools as well as in their communities,” he said.

Limbani added that recently some learners in the district have been victims of various abuses such as child marriages, human trafficking, corporal punishment, teenage pregnancies and child labour, among others, whereby child rights were infringed upon.

“As such, figures of school dropouts, particularly for girls are increasing in the district,” he said, adding that once schools open next academic year participants were expected to track down their fellow peers who dropped out of school to entice them to return to school,” he pointed out.

According to Limbani, participants were expected to promote child rights through songs, drama, poems, among other channels of disseminating child rights messages in their respective schools.

One of the participants, Sara Guduwelo, a Standard 7 learner of Tsupe Primary School Child-Led Club told Mana that the knowledge gained would assist her club to interpret what child rights were to fellow learners at her school.

“We have increased our knowledge on child rights, as such, we will ensure that our rights are upheld at our school,” she said, adding that, “The training will enhance promotion of child rights in schools.”

During this year’s commemoration of Day of African Child at Thawale Community Day Secondary School on July 18, 2018 District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) for Mwanza, Aaron Macheka bemoaned the increasing cases of child abuses.

“We have over 40 reported cases of violation of child rights that are ranging from child marriage, human trafficking, defilement and teenage pregnancies,” he said, noting that the statistics were worrisome both to his office and stakeholders.

Macheka observed that what was worrying most was that most common cases affected the welfare of a girl child such that the rate of school dropout cases in the district remained high.

At the training, each Primary school surrounding Thambani Education Zone was represented by 10 child-led club members comprising five boys and five girls.

The Programme is expected to roll out in all child-led clubs in Primary schools of Mwanza and Neno districts. The two and half year project is supported by the European Union through Save the Children.



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