By Emmanuel Moyo
KARONGA-(MaraviPost)-Traditional Authority Mwilang’ombe in Karonga District has applauded Ukhondo Services Foundation (USEF) for raising awareness about formal channels of reporting sexual abuse at school and community setting saying this is an eye opener.
Mwilang’ombe made these remarks on Friday at Nyungwe Teachers Development Centre (TDC) where USEF conducted an awareness campaign with authorities from social welfare, education department, mother groups and chiefs.
In an interview, he described the program as very relevant in the fight against sexual abuse which include statutory Rape and child marriage.
He said: “Educating a girl child is required if the country is to develop and this cannot be achieved if we subject a girl child to sexual abuse. So the awareness is very important as is has enlightened us chiefs as well as other stakeholders on how best to report sexual abuse cases.”
Echoing Mwilang’ombe, chairperson for mother group at Nyungwe, Jessie Nyirenda said now she has gained knowledge on handling and reporting on statutory Rape, Child marriage and other sexual abuse and hopes for an end of this.
“We have now been well equipped with knowledge about reporting sexual abuse and once we collaborate well with chiefs and authorities at the schools, we will win the fight.” She said.
On his part, Field facilitator for USEF, Lusayo Mwanyongo expressed satisfaction with the reception and expects those in authority and all community members to work together in ending the malpractice.
“The reception of the message has been good and we expect PEAs, Mother Groups and chiefs to report cased of abuses happening in their schools and communities and USEF will work hand in hand with chiefs to make sure this is implemented.” He said.
In a separate interview, Primary Education Advisor (C PEA) for Karonga Education office, Francis Mwenembako said the knowledge they have gained will help teachers to enlighten learners on what is sexual abuse and how to report.
“Teachers in schools will now impart the knowledge to learners so that they are enabled to report any case of sexual abuse including statutory rape and child marriage happening both in their community as well as schools.” He said.
USEF is running this project for two years with support from Tilitonse Foundation.