Girls Empowerment Network (Genet), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes girls education, has committed to ensuring that girls are rescued from child marriages in Dowa District for them to continue with their education.
Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day girl’s summer camp held at Dowa Secondary School on Monday, Genet project officer Naomi Nkhonjera said her organisation is concerned with the increase in school dropouts among girls in the district due to child marriages.
“We have noted that in the district many young girls are failing to complete their education due to child marriages. For this reason, we are geared to fight practices that lead to child marriages,” she explained.
Traditional Authority (T/A) Chakhaza commended Genet, saying through a project called Improving Girls’ Access to SRH Information and Services (Igasi), his subjects have abolished harmful cultural practices, including kusasafumbi, which were leading to early pregnancies.
He said the project involves working with parents and guardians to allow their children to access sexual reproductive health services (SRH) such as contraceptive methods in hospitals as one way of averting early pregnancies.
Genet is also building capacity among local leaders to help deal with SRH issues and address social and cultural norms that affect girls negatively.
The project is being implemented in T/As Kayembe and Chakhaza in the district and is directly working with 10 health centres with support from Amplify Change.