YONECO rescues 24 girls from child marriages in Mchinji

Mchinji: Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) says it has ended 24 marriages involving young girls below the age of 18 in the area of Traditional Authority Zulu in Mchinji over the past six months.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Thursday, YONECO District Manager for Mchinji, Hughes Munthali, said the exercise was done through engagement with policy makers as well as community mobilisation.

According to Munthali, Mchinji remains one of the districts in Malawi with high cases of child marriages due to high poverty levels.

This work [ending child marriages] needs concerted efforts from all relevant stakeholders.

YONECO has noted that issues of child marriages are not in T.A. Zulu alone but rather the entire district, he said.

District Social Welfare Officer for Mchinji, Rodwell Chunga, said it was worrisome that child marriages and early pregnancies continued to occur in the district despite efforts by several organisations in the district against the same.

Chunga said there was need to enforce by-laws which chiefs in the district established which are aimed at protecting children from all forms of sexual abuse.

YONECO, under More than Brides Alliance, is implementing a project called ‘Marriage Not Child’s Play’ in T.A. Zulu’s area and it is aimed at reducing cases of early marriages in the district.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA