By Esnath Kalawe – Mana.
Lingadzi Community Policing in Lilongwe has urged women in Mtandire to report abuses to relevant authorities in a bid to protect children.
There are a lot of reports that children are facing a lot of abuses amidst Covid -19 pandemic.
The sensitization which was held under Chimombo CBO in Mtandire was organized sorely to equip parents on different forms of abuses as children are on holiday due to novel corona virus pandemic.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) Saturday in Lilongwe, Acting Coordinator Lingadzi Community Policing, Inspector, McJames Kamanga said the idea came in after noticing that their office has been registering a number of issues related to child abuse hence coming up with the intervention.
“We are sensitizing parents on forms of abuses that children do encounter as they are staying at home during this covid-19 pandemic holiday, as we have been receiving complaints pertaining to child abuses.
“Parents have responsibilities towards their children, We are equipping them how they can report different forms of abuses to relevant authorities like police, one stop centre as well as social welfare just to say a few,” he said.
Kamanga disclosed that apart from crime prevention, parents have been equipped with knowledge on rights and responsibilities of children, considering that some people do not know that they are abused unless if they know their rights.
“These women will work as pioneers, they will be going around the location, carrying the message we have embarked today, so that people should stop the malpractice,” the Coordinator pointed out.
Chairlady for Chimombo Community Based Organization (CBO), Julia Chiozeka said the programme would help to address challenges they encounter in grooming the children as they had inadequate literacy levels, hence this would help to uplift the lives of youngsters.
“We need to work hand in hand with Child protection agencies, if children are mishandled at an early stage they will end up criminals, this is a good approach to make sure that we deal with this situation,” she said.
Chiozeka disclosed that children in the area do face a lot of challenges including early marriages, early pregnancies, alcohol and drug substance abuse, prostitution as well as chamba smoking among other challenges.
The programme targets peri-urban areas regarding that it was where a lot of reporting of abuses comes from.
In due course it shall extend to places like Kauma, Senti as well as Mtsiliza among other locations which fall under Lingadzi Police jurisdiction.
The programme is being funded by United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) which is making sure that all issues related to violence and abuses that have been reported during the Covid-19 pandemic are eradicated.