NEWS | EDUCATION
By Hawa Juma.
Students from various primary and secondary schools around Lilongwe, have urged Faith leaders in the country to champion calls of ending child rights abuses from various sectors of the society.
The calls were made last weekend during the Day of Prayer and Action on Child Protection, which took place at Area 30’s Malawi Police Headquarters in the city.
During the event, many of the speakers (mostly children) asked Faith leaders to be front runners in combating child marriages which have become rampant in most areas countrywide.
One of the said speakers, Katie Chimutu, a Form One student at Lilongwe Christian Private School called upon religious leaders to promote child-education by among others, ensuring that children finish their academic sojourns before being driven into marriages.
“Most of the schools in the country are owned by churches and faith leaders, so help us finish our education and not destroy it. Stop child abuse and let’s pray to stop early marriages,” She said.
In her preaching, Maness M’gululu, a Form one student at Chisamba Community Day Secondary School, reminded the audience that the Holy Writ duly highlighted that marriage was for adults, and that Malawians, as God-fearing followers, should also follow suit.
“The scriptures say marriage is for men and women not boys and girls. Faith leaders, as you read the bible frequently and understand it, don’t bless early marriages, protect children from the problems that they may face after getting married while they are young,” She said.
She further advised her fellow children to study hard in school and avoid things that might destroy their future, she said that children also have to play a role in ending child marriages by refusing to get married when they are being forced to.
“When you get married young, you cannot take care of your fellow children and you cannot be financially fit because your mind is not strong enough to properly handle finances. This can make marriage a living hell for you,” she advised.
Concurring with the two youngsters, Spokesperson for the ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Esthme Kainja, said faith based organizations have a role to play to end child marriages.
“Church leaders have a role to play because they keep many members in their organizations, so they should encourage their churches and members to send this message that a child is not ready for marriage. In addition, the Malawi government has always been against child marriages,” she said.
The country looks up to faith leaders to be leaders in ending child marriages because they look after a lot of people including children.