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YAS Translates the Bill of Rights into Chichewa

By Monica Tambala

Kajoloweka-Booklet will remove language barrier

Lilongwe, MANA: In their efforts to advance constitutional literacy among citizens and promote and protect human rights, the Youth and Society (YAS) has among others, translated the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of Malawi into Chichewa.

The translating of the booklet is part of an ongoing project birthed from a partnership between the Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law Program for Sub Saharan Africa.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Charles Kajoloweka, Executive Director for Youth and Society (YAS) has said that translating the booklet into Chichewa is part of an ongoing project aimed at promoting constitutional literacy in Africa.

“The translating and development of the summarized booklet makes the contents of the Bill of Rights more accessible and easier to understand. These Chichewa booklets remove the language barrier as well as simplify certain concepts so as to demystify the constitution.

“The campaign is targeted to reach all areas in Malawi, a nation-wide reach now that the booklet has been launched in Malawi through partnerships with local organizations such as Youth and Society,” he said.

Kajoloweka added that the project has also been piloted in Kenya and Zambia and is currently underway in Zimbabwe.

In a separate interview, Grace Hara, Public Relations Officer for National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) has commended Youth and Society for translating the Bill of Rights as it means that a good number of people will be able to access the information.

“Translating into vernacular language is a welcome development from which many people will benefit from. People will be able to access the translated documents and read in their own language.

 “People can easily take part in any developmental activities because they are informed and can demand their rights,” she said.

Commenting on the matter, chairperson for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Gift Trapence, has applauded the Youth and Society for their initiative citing it will benefit many Malawians.

“We commend YAS for this great initiative to allow Malawians better understand human rights. In fact, we need the bill of rights including our constitution to be translated into different major vernacular languages to make more Malawians to be able to understand the rights and laws of Malawi,” he said.

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