The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) has expressed satisfaction with the way Malawians are responding to a program aimed at protecting children.
According to UNICEF, 83,270 people in the country have joined the program called U-report in which they report through SMS issues that are affecting children and other people in their areas.
The U-report program which started in Uganda in 2011 was an agreement by 40 countries as a way of protecting childrens rights and Malawi launched its program in March, 2018.
In his remarks at a learning and sharing event on Friday in Lilongwe, program manager Charlie Hartono Lie said the program which is mostly targeting the youth is bearing fruits since people have realised that it motivates and gives ideas.
Lie added that many people in the country are also taking part in the program since it includes topics that are helpful to the public at large.
“U-report is for everyone including Members of Parliament, artists, students and many more. We chose this system to provide assistance to people on issues that affect their daily lives such as the issue of poor hygiene, early marriages and availability of social services to ensure that people report these things to us through SMS and we have been consulting the ministry responsible on such areas,” he said.
He made it clear that the program is not involved in any way with politics but on issues that requires emergency reaction at a particular time.
On challenges, the program manager pointed out low SMS blast respondent rate and SMS technical issues as among the issues that are hindering them from reaching 60 percent of female and 40 percent of male respondents.