Community members from Senior Group Village Head Ndevu in Lilongwe District have been challenged to up their efforts towards protecting children from various forms of violence.
According to Child Protection Officer at Namitete Police Unit Sub Inspector Wezzie Lodzeni, concerned stakeholders like parents, chiefs and teachers need to work together in the course of eradicating the vice.
Sub Inspector Lodzeni said this during a community awareness session that police, together with chiefs had with parents and students at Ndevu Primary School in the District.
“Empowering the relevant stakeholders with what is required out their roles in protecting children is a significant step.
Nonetheless, parents too have a crucial role to play towards ensuring that their children are free from any form of violence,” she said.
The session, which tackled issues ranging from rape, defilement, child labour to early marriages aimed at sensitising the community members how they can deal with such matters.
On her part, Senior Group Ndevu said she will reach out to her subjects on what they need to do when community members approach them with issues to do with violence that children face.
She said; “As traditional leaders we understand our limit and we have an obligation to refer such cases to relevant authorities like police when they are criminal in nature.”
Speaking during the same session, Yoneco`s Project Officer Evance Keyala informed the participants about the National Helpline and pleaded for concerted efforts in dealing with the vice.
Keyala concurred with Ndevu that cases to do with child labour, early marriages, rape and defilement should always be referred to competent authorities like the police.
Meanwhile, Head Teacher at Ndevu Primary School Chikadza Kumanda expressed gratitude to the law enforcers for considering his school in disseminating issues to do with child labour and child marriages saying that they are common in communities surrounding the school.
Ndevu Primary School, which is located in Lilongwe Rural West, has a total of 965 students with 505 girls and 460 boys.
By Julius Caleone Mbewe