Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) has reiterated on the need for concerted efforts to ensure that vulnerable children are well protected and free from all forms of violence in the country.
The appeal has been made in Lilongwe during a social afternoon organised by YONECO at Social Rehabilitation Center (SRC) with an aim of connecting the children at the center to relevant stakeholders.
Executive Director for YONECO, MacBain Mkandawire told YFM that government alone cannot reach out to the needs of the vulnerable children during their stay at the center even those in streets.
“This place seems to be neglected, there are a number of challenges that the place is facing, government has so many other issues and therefore the funds become inadequate,” he said.
Mkandawire added that it is the mission of YONECO to seeing the facility transforming into a center of excellence.
“What we would want this place is to be a center of excellence for the rehabilitation of children living on the street and also for young people that are abusing drugs,” he said.
On his part, Director of Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, McKnight Kalanda commended YONECO for the continuous support it has been offering to the kids.
“This initiative is coming in at the right time because we already have a plane where we would like to engage all the stakeholders, we started with Zomba some three weeks ago and we would like to engage stakeholders in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu besides engaging stakeholders from other districts,” said Kalanda.
According Kalanda, YONECO has been a trusted partner on child related issues.
“Besides our partnership for this center, we are also partnering with YONECO in the management of child helpline, so when you are looking at issues that affect children in terms of infringing on their rights, the Ministry and YONECO have several platforms where they are interacting,” added Kalanda.
Apart from government officials and the children themselves, chiefs, religious leaders, businesspersons, Head teachers, representatives from Malawi Human Rights Commission 9MHRC), Lilongwe City Council and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) attended the event.