Malawian and Mozambican children in Neno on Friday marked this year’s Day of the African Child with a call to leaders to implement sustainable plans that would protect and guarantee their basic rights.
Hundreds of Malawian children alongside their Mozambican peers, who fled their homeland due to conflicts, converged at Luwani Refugee Camp in the district to join other African youths to celebrate the day.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow children, 10-year-old Muhammad Wadi said the future of the African child was masked as a result of leaders failing to fulfil their promises on children.
Guest of hour at the event, Maxwell Matewere, who is executive director of Eye of the Child, said Malawi was recording alarming reports of exploitation of children and called on them to revolt against any form of cruelty on them.
He said: “From today, as you celebrate your day, say no to child labour, say no to early marriages, say no to sexual abuse. Let me also call on all relevant authorities to invest more in children’s programmes and also ensure renewed commitment towards continuous creation of protective environment for children.”
On her part, Bridget Banda, Plan Malawi child protection officer at Luwani Refugee Camp, said this year’s theme Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunities for Children in Africa by 2030, reflected well on crucial issues that have bigger and long-term impacts on children for the coming years up to 2030. n