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Neno Youth Centre to Help Curb Child Marriages

Bwanali (standing) let's us use this facility responsibly Bwanali (standing) let's us use this facility responsibly - pic by Pempho Singo

The Neno District Youth and Sports officer Ian Sukali has challenged the youths to make full use of the Neno Integrated Youth and Development Centre in a bid to further decrease child marriages and harmful practices perpetrated by idleness.

Sukali spoke this on Tuesday during an interface with selected Youth Club chairpersons for the Areas of Traditional Authority Chekucheku organised by The Parent and Child Health Initiative through UNICEF.

He says that through various formal and informal trainings that the centre is offering, youths will be busy in getting the skills thereby making informed decisions about marriage.

"I’m calling on the youths in this district to come and register with us so that they get trained in various skills that will be beneficial to their lives," he said.

He added that "if we keep these youths under our wings here, they will get to understand the importance of preserving their future and make decisions that will reduce chances of early marriages," he said.

The Youth Centre which is located in the area of T/A Chekucheku according to Beyond our Hearts Foundation Communications officer Pempho Singo, will be a place where the youths will also learn on how to end child marriages and other cultural practices that harm human dignity.

"Frequency meetings of the youth and duty bearers here will open up the youths and start discussing ways of ending child marriages and also transfer the knowledge to their counterparts in other clubs," narrated Singo.

In his remarks, John Bwanali, Chekucheku Youth clubs chairperson reminded the youths that through productive use of the Youth Development Centre, the youth could be financially stable through ICT, Beekeeping, farming and tailoring offered at the hub.

"Imagine being a bee keeper or a tailor, where will you get time to start promoting child marriages or abusing youth girls"? He wondered.

Meanwhile, Beyond our Hearts Foundation Executive Director Russel Msiska has asked the youths, especially the girlchild to fully own their bodies saying an mistake results in life time complications.

In 2021, 248 child marriages were recorded against a fewer figure of 49 in 2022, thus according to Paul Sosono Neno District Social Welfare officer.

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