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‘Cultural practices fuelling early marriages’

By Jarson Malowa, Contributor:

NOT READY FOR MARRIAGE— Machinga girls

Machinga District Commissioner, Bester Mandele, has cited cultural practices as one of the factors fuelling cases of early marriage in the district.

Mandele said this during commemorations marking day of the girl child which the Network for Youth Development (NfYD) organised in Machinga District.

He said, to reduce such cases, parents should play an active role in sending children, especially girls, to school.

“I think when organising initiatives targeting children, both boys and girls, authorities should not exclude parents because they [parents] believe that they have a final say on the future of their children,” Mandele said.

NfYD Programmes Manager, Lidace Nyirenda, said they are working hard to change the mindset of girls so that they can appreciate the role of education in their lives.

“That is why we organised a three-day camp aimed at grooming young girls,” Nyirenda said

One of the girls who attended the camp, Patuma Sailesi— who is also a member of NfYD’s Young Women Can Do It Club in Machinga— said lack of school fees is one of the factors forcing girls to marry at a tender age.

NfYD is implementing projects in Lilongwe, Mzimba, Nkhata Bay, Dowa, Nkhotakota and Machinga districts.

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