Fifteen girls from Traditional Authorities Khombedza and Mwanza in Salima have been rescued from child marriages after implementation of community by-laws in the areas.
The girls were rescued through Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE) under its Project Support for the Action for the Most Marginalized Children in Education.
Khombedza and Mwanza are among the T/As that have been struggling with high school dropout and early child Marriages.
CYECE District Coordinator for Salima, Joseph Yamikani Magaleta said since the implementation of the by-laws in 2018, there has been a positive change in the two T/As in regards to mobilizing, retaining and enrolling learners in schools.
“The by-laws have turned to be a powerful tool in the communities, forcing parents and guardians to take responsibility over children. Communities’ perception over girls education have also changed as many are sending their children to school,” said Magaleta.
He hailed the communities and the people in authority for utilizing the by-laws and punishing the culprits as it will help enhance the quality of education in the two communities.
T/A Mwanza highlighted that it was encouraging to eradicate child marriages in her area and commended her subjects for embracing the by-laws to promote education.
“I can proudly say that my dream is now coming true with the outcomes that we are attaining from the by-laws that we formulated. The results are an extra mile for us as the communities will continue working in accordance with the by-laws hence reducing child marriages,” said Mwanza.
She further urged communities to continue abiding by the by-laws as they are helping in promoting education in the communities.
Since the inception of the by-laws, fifty chiefs from T/A Mwanza have been penalized, over one thousand learners who dropped out of school have been re-enrolled and three rape cases have been followed and the perpetrators are serving sentences in prison.