Lilongwe: World Vision Malawi (WVM) Wednesday unveiled eight It takes Malawi to End Child Marriage Ambassadors in Lilongwe.
The eight ambassadors are Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza, Inkosi Gomani of Ntcheu, Inkosi ya Makosi M’belwa V of Mzimba, Musicians Faith Mussa and Patience Namadingo, Senior Chief Bwananyambi of Mangochi, Inspector General of Police (IG) Rodney Jose and Reverend Vasco Kachipapa of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) of Nkhoma Synod.
WVM National Director, Hazel Nyathi disclosed that they decided to launch the campaign having looked at the gleam statistics pointing to the fact that children are victims of violence and failure to intervene may to lead a catastrophic situation.
She pointed out, Malawi is number 12 on child marriages, 42 per cent marry before the age of 18 and nine per cent of girls married as young as 15 years in the country. Over 50 per cent of girls in child marriage are married off by their parents and guardians, three in four girls have children before age 18 while 84 per cent births are given by child brides.
As statistics reveal, Violence against Children is at epidemic proportions. Failure to prevent it is akin to condoning it. The bottom line is; children deserve better. They deserve to grow up, live a happy and healthy life, need to be loved, and need to be protected, the National Director said.
Nyathi went to say that WVM through its 2016-2020 Strategy, aims at making a measurable contribution in improving the well-being of 1.5 million children directly and 4 million children indirectly.
Our aim is to make sure that: Children have improved health and nutritional status, children are well educated, children live in a safe environment and children and their communities have strengthened voice, she stated.
Presidential Advisor on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Mabvuto Bamusi said that President Prof. Peter Mutharika, who is a champion for the HeForShe Campaign, is committed to see to it that the country’s children live in a country where their future is guaranteed and that they live out their full potential.
He commended WVM for the initiative that would see the eight ambassadors promoting the campaign by reaching out and stimulating productive discourse around the ending child marriages.
According to Nyathi, the ambassadors will among other activities, ‘help to build momentum for the creation of a nationwide movement to end child marriage, promote the aims of the WV campaign and build a consensus around the need for a national involvement in championing the rights of the girl child.
To steer the popularization of the World Vision Malawi brand It Takes Malawi to End Child Marriage Campaign and its strategy and action Plan, act as WV ambassadors and brand champions, selling the brand to the community, policy makers, private sector, traditional and faith leaders, boys and girls, partners and other stakeholders.
They will develop pool of potential champions across the Nation of Malawi to take on the campaign forward.’
The It takes Malawi to End Child Marriage campaign, which was officially launched in March 2018, comes from World Vision Global Campaign called IT TAKES A WORLD TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN which runs for five years between 2017 and 2021.
WVM is a faith-based organisation that operates in the country.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA