Centre for Alternatives for Victimised Women and Children (CAVWOC) has intensified efforts to end cultural practices such as sexual cleansing that are contributing to high school drop-out among girls and to spread of HIV/AIDS.
On Friday CAVWOC organised an open day at Mangazi Primary School ground in Phalombe as part of the fight against the practices.
Project Coordinator for CAVWOC Smart Mvula told Malawi24 that they want to eradicate harmful cultural practices happening in Phalombe district mainly in two Traditional Authorities; Nazombe and Jenala.
Mvula said the organisation is working with chiefs considering that the traditional leaders are custodians of culture and that it can be easy for them to tell people and convince them of dangers of some cultural practices.
“We want to bring in change with chiefs who are custodians of culture so that we should end some of these harmful cultural practices which children are taught during this time when they are attending initiation ceremonies.
“Here we have Kusasa fumbi (sexual cleansing) which most times its end result is pregnancy, we have also kuthira mchere (putting salt in relish) where the girl is advised to start sleeping with a man,” disclosed Mvula.
On her part, Traditional Authority Nazombe commended CAVWOC for the job it is doing and she encouraged her fellow chiefs to join hands to end these malpractices which are a burden to girl child education.
“Let’s encourage our children to be going to school and I am asking my fellow chiefs here so that we should join hands to fight against these harmful cultural practices.
“Let us not forget that when we educate the child we have educated the whole country,” she said in an interview with this publication.
During the ceremony, Phalombe district council chairperson Rex Malata thanked CAVWOC for the initiative and he asked his fellow politicians and religious leaders to join hands and fight against harmful cultural practices.