By Kenson McCloud
Breakthrough Action Project has commended youth in Machinga for their active role ending child marriages.
The sentiments were made at a stakeholder’s engagement with Area Development Committees in Traditional Authority Nyambi in the district on the progress made during the implementation process.
In an interview Timveni, senior programs officer for Breakthrough, Zione Musa, said there has been a significant increase in youth engagement on issues affecting their lives including forced marriages.
"If we are to talk about eliminating child marriages in this country, then the youth should be in front fighting against the vice." said Musa.
According to Musa, through the project, a lot of child marriages have been dissolved and the children are now returning to school.
Musa said partners in the project have committed to completely do away with child marriages hence the decision to extend implementation period of the project.
Musa said, " After implementing the project for a year and seeing the strides that have made, we decided to extend the project so that we can reach out to more people."
In his remarks, Village Development Committee Chairperson, Richman Mponda said the project has brought about mindset change in the area as more men are now taking part in efforts to end child marriages.
Mponda however decried unlawful practices from some law enforcers when handling suspects of child marriage who he claimed receive bribes.
However, District youth officer for Machinga, Jones Mthunzi said there is need to increase awareness among community members for them to be able to report to relevant authorities if they suspect foul play in the handling of suspects.
The project is being implemented in Chikwawa and Machinga with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID)