By Kenson McCloud
Community leaders in Chikwawa have commended the Breakthrough Action Project for promoting economic empowerment among community members in a bid to fight child marriages in the district.
The sentiments were made on Friday during an interface meeting between stakeholders and government officials on how the project ideologies will be sustained and supported as the project is coming to an end this month.
Speaking during the meeting, Chairperson for Savala Community Action Group (CAG) Rose Chimwaza said through the project a lot of community members have been imparted with financial literacy which has helped them to start business to support their children’s education.
Chimwaza said since the inception of the project in their area, a lot has improved in terms of fighting child marriages.
According to Chimwaza, Breakthrough Action has helped to change some of the harmful traditional practices that used to fuel child marriages.
Chimwaza further said, through the project, community members have set up village banks where they are able to get loans for business ventures to support their families in a bid to end poverty.
In her remarks, Group Village Head Jana has pledged to continue the fight against child marriages even after the project phases out.
Jana said they will continue working with committees and child protection officers to ensure children in her area are no longer falling victim to child marriages.
Jana emphasized on the need for chiefs to coordinate and take the leading role in mobilising community members to join hands in the fight.
On his part, one of the officials from the Chikwawa Child Protection office, Dalitso Kaliati, described the project as a success because there has been a reduction in cases of child marriages.
Kaliati said they will continue working with community structures that have been set up under the project to continue the fight.
The Breakthough Action Project started in 2020 and is expected to phase out in September this year. It is being implemented in Machinga and Chikwawa districts with support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).