In a bid to eradicate early marriages and teenage pregnancies, Plan Malawi International, through its Yes I Do programme, has since 2017 withdrawn 878 under-age persons from marriages in Machinga and Lilongwe.
Out of the figure, 434 are girls while 444 are boys. They have since been sent back to school.
Plan Malawi project manager Billy Mukwikwi said this on Monday during the graduation of 19 young women who underwent two months training in bakery under Yes I Do project at Karisa Bakery Training Centre in Mzimba.
“Early marriages and teenage pregnancies remain a big concern in the country and Machinga and Lilongwe record highly. Plan Malawi is, therefore, providing interventions to reverse the situation in these two districts.
“We have withdrawn 878 underage persons from marriage and sent them back to school. We have also empowered 144 underprivileged young women and men in the two districts so that they should be self-reliant through the provision of vocational training,” he said.
Mzimba South district social welfare officer Jim Wotchi said his office registered 194 cases of early marriages between January to September this year.
Karisa Bakery Training Centre director Lexah Harrison urged the learners to utilise the skills gained.
She thanked Plan Malawi for using local institutions to offer training to its programme beneficiaries.
Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Fatima Msoma promised to share the skills so that more people benefit from the programme to move out of poverty. The training cost over K12 million.