By Alfred Mthandizi
Malawi has a total figure of 12,000 children living under child headed families. These high figures have prompted SOS Children Villages to launch “No child should grow up alone” campaign in the capital city Lilongwe. The launch comes amid reports of wide spread of child protection challenges in Malawi standing at 65% for girls and 35 % for boys.
Hope Msosa is National Programs Director SOS Children’s Villages Malawi. Msosa says it is unfortunate that high proportion of girls face violence under the age of 18. 25 % of children below age 18 according to Msosa continue working as child labor while 12,000 children live in child headed households.
“Unemployment levels are even high among young people and we have to reverse this through this project,” said Msosa. “When we say that no child should grow up alone we are not talking about something more than just literally being with other people because if child’s needs and rights are not being fulfilled it means they are alone.
Msosa said it’s unfortunate that too many children in the world are alone saying some are abandoned by one or both parents while some are abandoned by the community. SOS Manager urged the media to help in sensitizing the public on this one. The SOS Campaign Project scope demands that all stakeholders from family, community and state to do something urgently to change the story.
Desmond Mhango is Coalition on Child Rights Chairperson who said families must take leading role in ensuring that children are enjoying all the rights. Mhango said deliberate effort must be made to strengthen to support the families who are failing to support their children on economic side.