Malawi’s youngest ever Ombudsman, Martha Chizuma, entreated young girls to set their eyes on education at the 2018 Girls Conference organized by the More Than Brides Alliance.

During her passionate speech on 18 December, 2018 at Crossroads Hotel – Rukuru Conference room – the nongovernmental complaint investigator narrated her personal account of how education has dug her family out of poverty to living a decent life.

“I am the most educated lady in my immediate family and that has helped me to support my parents and siblings with more than their basic needs,” Chizuma elucidated.

Reiterating the words of the Ombudsman, Deputy Director for Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Anne Namagonya exclaimed that ‘contraceptive methods are primarily for adults’ and not adolescents, hence girls should concentrate more on acquiring higher qualifications in order to become influential people in the society.

The conference attracted 60 girls from the districts of Mchinji, Mangochi, and Nkhatabay – with notable attendances from: Director of Reproductive Health Unit – Fannie Kachale, Deputy Country Director for Save the Children – Stanley Phiri, as well as representatives for Executive Directors of YONECO and GENET.

In Malawi, the More Than Brides Alliance is comprised of Simavi, Population Council, Save the Children and Oxfam – with Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) and Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) as the implementing partners of a project dubbed Marriage: No Child’s Play.

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