First Lady Monica Chakwera has reaffirmed her commitment to help end child marriages in the country.
She said this on Thursday during the launch of the comic booklet of her life story and video documentary at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
Chakwera said the child marriage situation is still dire in the country, with studies indicating that 42 percent of Malawian girls marry before the age of 18.
She said: “The story that we launch today is a living example that many girls from rural areas can draw inspiration from and understand and realise that even with the limitations of life, one can still make it to their God-given destiny.
“It is my desire that this story will give hope to the girls of this nation, especially those struggling to make it every day of their lives and to those coming from disadvantaged families. I pray that they will be empowered to realise their dreams without giving up to fate which renders them vulnerable.”
In her remarks, Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje said educating the girl child does not only help to reduce population growth (demographic dividend), but also improves education levels for future generations and the socio-economic development of a country.
“With the work that we are witnessing today, it is my hope that the work of my ministry in encouraging girls to come to school, stay in school, complete their education, and make something great of themselves has just taken a big step forward.
“We will continue to work with you and to ensure this dream that you are sharing with the girls —the dream that the girls too can be empowered by learning from your story — that it comes alive within all the classrooms up and down the country,” she said.
The comic creation, publication, and distribution of the booklet with cartoon illustrations was supported by Plan International Malawi.
The booklet will also be translated into Chichewa, Chitumbuka, Yao and other languages to reach out to a wider audience.
On her part, Plan International Malawi country director Phoebe Kasoga said the purpose of the book was to document the unique story of the First Lady, to demonstrate to younger girls in the village that one can grow up in the village and still succeed if they study hard in school.