By Jecina Chikwelete 

The Malawi Prisons Service has disclosed that the child diversion program is helping in curbing congestion in reformatory centers. 

However, the institutions Public Relations Officer Chimwemwe Shawa complained of shortage of organizations involved in such programs.

Child diversion plays a vital role in reforming children who have come in conflict with the law.

But in Malawi, only one organization by the name of Chance for Change is currently running the project of child diversion.

Shawa has told Timveni involvement of many organizations in the project will surely shield children from exposure to bad behaviors.

"Chances are high that by passing through diversion process, children will totally be reformed unlike in a scenario of a custodial sentence where children meet older people with different behaviors," explained Shawa. 

In her remarks, Country Director for Chance for Change Grace Tionge Waluza said her organization only has capacity to take on board 45 children who are in conflict with the law per intake.i

" It is important for other organizations to venture into the program so that many children who break the law receive the best diversion mechanisms," said Waluza. 

According to Waluza, Change for Change engages only those children willing to undergo the process of diversion.

With funding from the Scottish government, Chance for Change has been running the diversion program since 2016 and the project will run until 2023. 

Through the program, Chance for Change is also providing vocational skills in government reformatory centers.

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