By Jordan Simeon-Phiri
60 pupils from three primary schools of Hangalawe,
Lupembe and Vuwa from Nyungwe Zone in Karonga District, have been advised to
refrain from harmful cultural practices that will hamper their educational
Justice and Peace (JP) of Karonga Diocese through
HE4SHE project issued the piece of advice during an engagement meeting held on
Saturday at Vuwa Primary School whose aim was to interact with pupils to teach them
their rights in terms of gender based violence (GBV) and inclusive education.
Speaking at the event, JP Project Coordinator Moses Mwakisalu
said pupils are the country’s future leaders who are supposed to be nurtured
and be given an inclusive education for them to grow into productive citizens.
And speaking on behalf of pupils, Maureen Hara, a
standard seven pupil at Vuwa Primary School hailed the JP for the initiative that
has withdrawn girls from early marriages and are back to school.
Nyungwe Zone Primary Education Advisor (PEA) Stenfield
Chilembo said the project has worked miracles by giving an opportunity to girls
whose hope and future were doomed.
“Let me express my gratitude towards the
implementers of the project that has benefitted a lot of girls in our
community,” Hara said.
“With this project, we have managed to bring back to school girls, organized several activities as awareness campaigns for pupils and formed mother groups as well as HeForShe clubs.
“We have also counseled those recalled to forget
about the past and concentrate on education while this other group has been
warned to avoid stigma and discrimination,” Chilembo said.
On his part, Senior Chief Mwirang’ombe noted that the
project has come at an opportune time as lakeshore schools become fertile
grounds for promiscuity which prevent girls and boys from going to school.
further advised pupils to work hard at school, saying the future belongs to
them and promised to do everything possible to abolish harmful cultural norms
for them to achieve inclusive education and end GBV.
The event was spiced up by poems, drama, choirs that
carried messages of GBV but promoted girl child and inclusive education.
Justice and Peace of Karonga Diocese is implementing
the project with funding from UN Women.