Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza has expressed fears that the country’s efforts in curbing early marriages may be hampered by the inadequate support the education sector continues to get.
Various reports indicate education standards in the country continue to dwindle and this comes despite Parliament allocating the sector with the largest chunk of the national budget for the 2016/17 fiscal year.
But Kandindamoto, who has now championed the rescue over 2500 girls from early marriages in the country since 2004, believes more needs to be done to make the campaign worthwhile, including her own.
“It may not be to do with fund allocation at national level alone. I think what’s more significant is to check where and what are particular funds being spent on. As for the fight [against child marriages], I feel physical structures can effectively compliment the efforts made so far.
She was speaking on Friday at Ntakataka Primary School ground after being unveiled by World Vision Malawi as the organization’s brand ambassador in its End Child Marriage campaign. The event was held under the theme: It takes a world to end violence against children.
“All I am saying is, we may have concerted efforts in scaling down, or even eradicating the malpractice in the country, but we need to be prepared as a country to give the repatriated children some new lease of life; some better alternatives. Education is the main reason we go on nullifying these marriages. Think of the impact if that rescued child [from early marriage] doesn’t get the support they deserve in school including, learning materials, food and shelter?” She quizzed.
Kachindamoto, who also argued for a total revamp of the sector, cited the long distances learners do cover to attain education and the inadequate of qualified teachers as examples to factors derailing most girls in their quest to excel in education.
Added the chief, “In essence, that number [2,550] may account to nothing if those rescued from child or early marriages don’t get back to school. It may all turn into a losing battle; something we should dread.”
In an interview, national director for World Vision Malawi Hazel Nyathi said her organisation could not have gone for a better person for the ambassadorial role other than the celebrated traditional leader who has been decorated globally for her local initiative in curbing child marriages.
Said Nyathi, “As a matter of fact, World Vision came to the Chief [Kachindamoto] to learn; her commitment, bravery and zeal are just amazing. So, it was a natural choice for us. This should also not be mistaken for an award of some sort; we believe no award can match what this courageous leader has done over the years. We are just privileged to work with other in a common area of interest.”
By virtue of the ambassadorial role, Senior Chief Kachindamoto will now have all the financial and technical backing from World Vision to help stop the vice.