The Director of Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare McKnight Kalanda has urged local and community leaders to take into account children’s inputs when formulating policy.
He said this at New Era Secondary School Hall in Ntcheu where he opened the district’s Community Children’s Parliament.
Said Kalanda: “Children’s Parliament is quite important because it helps the children express their views on quite a number of issues. It is important that the district council and chief’s council take the issues raised by children seriously and work towards finding solutions.”
The deliberations at the five-day session will focus on how Government can include issues affecting children such as education and child labour when developing fiscal interventions for the district.
On his part, Save the Children project manager for humanitarian and relief, Steve Kamtimaleka, said the Parliament will help the organisation engage and encourage participation from the youth in ways that will build their competence and self-awareness as citizens.
He said: “There are a lot of issues affecting our children teen pregnancy, child labour and general human rights infringements on young people. It is important for a recognised forum where children can express themselves on things that affect them so that duty bearers can provide solutions.”
The Children’s Parliament in Ntcheu has been formed with financial assistance and support from the Embassy of Ireland.
Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani made a brief appearance at the venue to appreciate the deliberations.