First Lady calls for unity in ending child marriages

Neno: The country’sFirst Lady Gertrude Mutharika says there must be collective efforts among stakeholders to ensure that child marriages are eliminated in the country.

She said this during the official launch of a five year ‘End Child Marriage’ campaign by World Vision Malawi (WVM) at Kam’mwamba in Neno District.

Mutharika said the prevalence of child marriages is high in Malawi, hence the need to join hands to make sure that children stay in schools and not in early marriages.

It is everyone’s duty to end child marriage in the country. Children, especially the girl child should remain in school and complete their education without any interference. But for this to be a success, we need to join hands, said Mutharika.

She then commended WVM for complementing Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) efforts of making sure that the girl child stays in school.

Member of Parliament for the area, Mary Khembo cited poverty as one of the contributing factors to early marriages.

She said, This forces most girls to enter into early marriages, thereby increasing chances of contracting HIV, unwanted pregnancies as well as fistula as a result of child bearing at a tender age.

We need to hold hands as a nation in preaching the ills of early marriages so that we can protect our children.

WVM Country Director, Hazel Nyathi said her organization will walk an extra mile to make sure the wellbeing of children in Malawi is achieved.

Our dream is to see a better Malawi and we can’t achieve that if we neglect children. As WVM, we will make sure that early marriages become history, said Nyathi.

While concurring with the First Lady, United States of America (USA) country representative, Virginia Palmer said her government was ready to build more schools to accommodate every child.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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