Lilongwe — The Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) has embarked on empowering community leaders with child protection laws and skills in the area of Traditional Authority Mavwere in Mchinji in a bid to promote education among the children particularly girls in the district.
Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) GENET Project Officer, Memory Banda said their organization thought it wise to empower the community leaders in Mchinji district with the laws and skills of protecting girls after noting low levels of understanding of laws and policies of child protection among the community leaders in the district.
"As GENET we noted that there is knowledge gap on the understanding of laws and policy among the community leaders structures here in Mchinji. For this reason we thought it crucial to conduct a workshop aimed to educate the community structures on how the laws work and also on how they can formulate by-laws to protect girls in their communities," said Banda.
She said the community leaders are being equipped with necessary skills on how to handle different cases concerning child abuses such as Gender Based Violence and child marriages noting that such cases are widespread in the district.
She added that the skills which the community leaders are being empowered with would enable them make linkages between the laws and policies concerning education and human rights of children which she said are the fundamental basics in promoting the living standards of the children, mainly girls.
Banda is optimistic that the skills would help the community leaders in formulating by-laws for their communities that will help safeguard the rights of the children.
Chiefs, child protection officers, social welfare committee members and community policing forum members are some of the people who are being empowered.
In his remarks Traditional Authority Mavwere applauded GENET for the project which the organization is doing in his area saying it has helped transform lives of children, mostly girls.
"I appreciate the efforts which GENET is making to raise the living standards of girls and the entire youthful community, these efforts are contributing positively in my area," said TA Mavwere.
Currently GENET is working on a project called 'Happy Health and Safe' in Mchinji district with funding from Southern African Aids Trust (SAT).