RPSSI Asks for Sustainable Interventions to Curb Child Marriages
The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (RPSSI) says orphanhood and increasing poverty levels in most African countries are exposing girls to a trap of being young mothers due to lack of alternatives for survival.
RPSSI Country Representative, George Alufandika, told Zodiak Online on Friday that, for instance, more than 40 percent of adolescent mothers in Malawi are those that lost either one or both parents; hence, the need to increase sustainable interventions to halt early pregnancies and forced child marriages.
Alufandika said REPSSI and Young Women Christian Association in Malawi are currently intending to provide loans to almost 400 adolescent mothers in Blantyre and Machinga to start small businesses, with others encouraged to go back to school.
“We are concerned with the increased number of adolescent mothers in the country. However, we have lined up programs to reach out to the girls to take care of their children by making sure that they attend early childhood development centres. We call for concerted efforts to support these young mothers,” said Alufandika.
Based on 44, 000 teen pregnancies that were recorded in the country in 2020/2021 year, the organizations are calling for vigorous efforts to end early pregnancies and child marriages.
On her part, Acting President of Young Women Christians Association in Malawi, Alice Bwanausi, says they are intending to provide loans to adolescent mothers in Blantyre and Machinga while encouraging others to go back to school.
Adolescent young mother, Mwandida Golose from Mwang’anda village in Machinga has commended the two organizations for providing her with psychosocial support including loans to start business after facing domestic violence while in marriage.
Machinga Social Welfare Officer, Lawrence Matiti, blames lack of recreation and harmful cultural especially initiation ceremonies of fueling teen unplanned pregnancies and child marriages in the district.
“For instance, from May last year to May this year, the the district registered 2, 950 unplanned teenage pregnancies and 950 child marriages,” said Matiti.