By Agatha Namphimba
Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) has conducted a massive awareness campaign in rural areas in Zomba district on dangers of exploitation and neglect of children.
The four-day awareness campaign has been conducted in different villages in the area of Senior Chief Chikowi.
District Manager for YONECO in Zomba Blessings Sabao said child neglect is a big problem in the district and it brings negative challenges to adolescent girls.
“School dropout, engaging in transaction of sex, children migrating to the city as well as increase of child marriages and early marriages are some challenges which are being faced because of child negligence,” Sabao said.
He also said sometimes parents force their daughters to engage into these practices just because they have failed to give them basic needs.
Sabao added that YONECO is committed to fighting for rights of children as well as the youth and it has put in place various interventions to address the challenge.
“As YONECO we manage Tithandizane Child Helpline where people can report such cases and we established parenting circle for child protection.
“We encourage people to report their problems, apart from that we are establishing early child development schools because it’s a key factor in developing a child,” Sabao said.
An estimate of 15 cases per 30 percent of cases received at Tithandizane Child Helpline dwell much on child marriages and neglect.