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World Vision Malawi Trains Children In Journalism

By Emily Kaliwo

Chiradzulu, May 15, Mana: World Vision Malawi has trained 75 children from Sub-Traditional Authority Onga in Chiradzulu in writing skills to enable them report on child abuse cases in their areas after observing that most cases of child abuse went unreported to authorities.

In an interview on Friday after three day training, World Vision Malawi, Team Leader for Onga area, Ephrida Nkhata said the organization was compelled to introduce “Child Journalism” in the area because there was no reporting mechanism of child abuse cases.

“We’ve introduced the program through a project in the area which aims at empowering children to write on issues that affect them including developmental issues taking place in their area, monitoring their fellow children’s welfare in education and health and also a career guidance to those that want to pursue Journalism in future,”  she said.

Nkhata added that World Vision Malawi also sent back to school children that dropped out due to teen pregnancies and child marriages through a back-to-school initiative.

She said the organization also empowers parents and guardians of children that  dropped out of school with a Pass-On Program of dairy cattle to support them to meet their basic needs.

The Onga Team Leader,therefore urged the trained children journalists to practice news writing skills to fulfill the program’s objective.

World Vision Malawi volunteer, James Mlokote said cases of child abuse are common in Onga area adding that the cases are reported to child protection worker responsible for the area.

He observed that mostly cases of child abuse yield nothing because parents, guardians  and victimized children fail to disclose them such that the efforts to deal with the child abuse becomes difficult as traditional leaders in the area discourage people from reporting the abuses for fear of being ridiculed and risk disciplinary measures from the traditional authority.

Mlokote therefore thanked World Vision for the intervention adding that this will assist children to report abuses as some open up to fellow children other than to elders.

One of the participants to the news writing training, Priscilla Mpando, 16 from Kuchombe village, who is also an aspiring journalist thanked World Vision Malawi for implementing the child protection intervention saying this has empowered children to report on any forms of abuse and will also help expose perpetrators of child abuse.

The facilitators of the news writing training were drawn from Nation Publication Limited, the Blantyre Newspaper Limited and District Information Office in Chiradzulu.

The child protection project that has special focus on education, health and agriculture started in 2009 and will end in 2025 with funding from Newzeland.

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