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Mpemba Reformatory in need of beddings

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Children in conflict with the law at Mpemba Reformatory Centre risk exposure to outbreak of skin diseases like scabies as the centre is operating with insufficient blankets and mattresses which is forcing the children to use the same beddings without washing.

The children are also forced to share the few available beddings which are worn out.

One of the instructors at the government-owned facility, Osborne Kananji, said the situation is critical as the centre depends on assistance from well-wishers.

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The centre keeps 35 children of which six are girls.

“We have enough beds for the capacity of 150 children in conflict with the laws but we don’t have enough mattresses and blankets for the 35 children we keep here,” he said.

Kananji also decried poor funding to the council which he said is crippling the operations of the centre.

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“Sometimes we spend two months without a penny from the government. The funding, most of the times, come late and is insufficient like I said earlier on. We fail to monitor some of the children in their respective homes for assessment,” he said.

Mpemba Reformatory Centre keeps three categories of children; those on remand, prisoners and committals (those who just need counselling as sent by their communities).

The situation was known during a visit by students of College of Medicine under a charitable organisation known as College of Medicine Care (Com-care).

The visit was aimed at encouraging and motivating the minors of their potential of becoming influential in society.

Com Students Union President, Beyard Kachidowo, said the students also decided to make a donation of school materials and other basic necessities to the centre.

“We felt that the little we have should go a long way to people struggling in life in our neighborhood,” he said.

The donation is the first since the inception of the grouping in 2016.

The existence of Mpemba Reformatory Centre dates back to 1956 when it was known as Mpemba Boys Home. It later adopted the current name in 2012.

The centre was built to keep 150 minors. Other public reformatory centres in the country include Chilwa in Zomba and Falls Rehabilitation Centre in Lilongwe.

All the centres are looked after by the Ministry of Gender, Disability, Children and Social Welfare.

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