Concerned with child delinquency and rising cases of school dropout among teenage girls at Chigwirizano and Likuni Townships in Lilongwe, Likuni Boys Mother Group has moved in to eliminate harmful practices, including child, early and forced prostitution and marriage.
The group, which is receiving financial support from an Irish organization - Misean Cara through the Marist Brothers, is implementing a project called Renew Horizons and it is currently equipping parents with positive parenting skills.
Speaking at an awareness raising rally at Mwanamanga Football Ground on Sunday, the Likuni Boys Mother Group Project Officer, Fatima Brown, said together with other stakeholders such as the Malawi Police Service, they have identified some of the factors that lead adolescent girls to delinquency and early marriages in the two areas.
Brown disclosed that irresponsible parenthood was one of the factors fuelling delinquency among children.
"So, we want to work in collaboration with the parents and other stakeholders in finding the lasting solution to the factors that drive the children into these traps. We are also empowering women and their families to build their own resilience against poverty whilst at the same time protecting natural resources from further damage through charcoal production," she said.
Brown emphasized that child marriages are a threat towards Malawi's aspiration for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, which seeks governments' commitment to address all harmful practices, including child, early and forced marriage.
Group Village Head (GVH) Mwanamanga blamed the bad behavior among children on the proliferation of video showrooms, which, he said, are exposing the minors to unrated materials.
Mwanamanga asked the Lilongwe City Council and the police to ban video showrooms during schooldays.