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 future.
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behalf of pupils, Maureen Hara, a standard seven pupil at Vuwa Primary School hailed the JP for the initiative that has withdrawn girls from early marriages and are back to school.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.
The chief, 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.