Written by Joseph Mbughi
Local leaders and an organisation in Chitipa have managed to end 18 child marriages this year and have sent 14 of the children back to school.
This was revealed when Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) which is a non-governmental organization had a meeting with the local leaders to empower them so that they should take an active role in ending gender based violence (GBV) in their communities.
Speaking at the event, Senior group village headman Chipwela Emmanuel Msukwa said as they are leaders, it is their duty to join hands with the organization to end GBV, promote women empowerment and encourage children to go to school.
According to Senior GVH Chipwela, out of 18 children whom their marriages ended, 14 children are back to school while four children have babies and they are expected to go to school soon.
In his remarks, CCJP field officer for Kabotola in Traditional Authority Mwenemisuku Brian Kachitete said before coming in of this project there were many cases to do with early marriages as compared to this moment.
“Children who marry below the age of 18 experience a lot of challenges. For instance, they contract diseases while others lose their lives when giving birth,” said Kachitete.
He also asked other organizations that are working in the district to work together in ending the violence in the communities.
Chitipa shares borders with Tanzania and Zambia and there are some people who are practicing child trafficking. The children are taken to Tanzania where are working in big farmers but they are not paid.
Kachitete said his organisation is also fighting against child trafficking.
CCJP is working in all T/As in Chitipa district and their objective is to safeguard the rights of women and girls and children under Karonga Diocese.