UNICEF, PACHI Hail Neno Youth Advocates

 Players asked for mobility Players asked for mobility Photo by Steve Kalungwe
 
 
Players in the fight against child marriages and other harmful practices in Neno have asked for more funding for the cause arguing that most rural people are being missed with messages on the ills of the vice.
This has been said on Monday when UNICEF and the Parent and Child Health Initiative hosted the players to appreciate progress made for the eight months project aimed at ending child marriages and harmful practices.
 
In his remarks, Neno police spokesperson Austin Kamwendo says they are being unable to end the marriages and arrest perpetrators due to mobility challenges, citing their office has only one vehicle.
 
" We request for more resources especially on mobility as we fail to reach hard to reach places like the area of Senior Chief Dambe," he said.
 
He added that for effective ending of child marriages, UNICEF and PACHI should roll out the project as a long term one, saying child marriages can not end in eight months but rather need more time and interventions.
 
This has been collaborated with Neno district Adolescent and Youth Friendly Health Services coordinator Antony Sandiyang'ane and Gender Based Violence Coordinator Wily Chisindo who say the area of Senior chief Dambe registers more child marriage cases but mobility is a challenge to sensitize the people there.
 
Chisindo says for example, in this year's first quarter 45 girls have been defiled by their spouses in their families.
 
He said that " most of the children being abused are those who are married to older people but we fail to take them out due to cultural beliefs and mobility".
 
UNICEF representative Alexander Mwale has since committed to address the challenges in the course of the project.
 
Two youth advocates Bright Khungwa and Hastings Chipoka called on the implementing partners to consider giving them gadgets such as smart phones and computers for easy documentation of activities they do in ending child marriages through youth clubs.
 
" We need to go digital so as to never lose record of what we teach the youths and members of the community, this is so because writing in note books is not reliable," he said.
 
In his remarks, PACHI Neno officer Russel Msiska said the youths have a bigger role to play in ending child marriages hence involving them at all levels including politicians and the business community.
 
The project trained ten youth advocates who have so far reached over nine thousand other youths with messages of ending child marriages and the media too is being used to further the course.
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