Blantyre, Male champions who are tracing and tracking down school dropouts due to teenage pregnancies in Mulanje have vowed to create a bunch of educated girls in the district.
One of the male champions, Simon Matipwiri from Matipwiri Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mthiramanja told Malawi News Agency on Saturday the team was determined to ensure that all girls remained in school, including those that dropped out as a result of pregnancies and early marriages.
So far, I have personally managed to end 21 child marriages as well as assisted 15 young girls who dropped out due to pregnancy to be readmitted to school. To ensure that these girls remain in school I move around door by door every day to make sure they have indeed gone to school.
I don’t stop there; I also go to their respective schools to make sure that the girls are indeed in class, he said.
Matipwiri said would like the girls of his village to be educated because that is when they could take care of themselves, their families and their parents as well.
His counterpart, Kelvin Sache, another male champion from Songwe Village, in Traditional Authority Njema, said he had managed to trace and sent back 13 girls to school in their village.
Together with my other male champions, we approach the girls to understand why they dropped out and interrogate them why they rushed into marriage.
From there, we counsel them on the importance of returning to school such that we accompany them to schools to make sure they are readmitted, Sache said.
Another male champion from T.A. Juma, Peter Galima, said the area has 50 male champions and together they target men with sensitisation messages on why they need to stop interfering with girls’ education.
Galima said instead, they encourage the men to be supportive to various initiatives aimed at empowering women and girls in the area.
Bearing in mind that men love soccer, we collectively contribute money to organize bonanzas with the aim of attracting a lot of men and have a platform where we can reach out to them with messages on why they have to protect the girl child. We also encourage them to support girls’ education.
We also reach out to men at the graveyards whenever we are digging graves and so far, we have made impact because men in the area are now slowly changing their mindset not to take girls as brides, Galima added.
Assistant Coordinator for Namphungo Primary Education Zone, McJones Mkwamba, said the zone has indeed registered increasing numbers of girls returning to school after getting pregnant and married.
Enrolment of girls is now high in many schools in the zone because teachers, parents and village heads understand why we need to accept adolescent drop outs back to school. We always involve teachers in making sure that these girls are being given due care and that they are not being teased by their.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA