Community members applaud FOHOP for girl rights awareness campaign

Community Members surrounding Nalutete Junior Primary School in Traditional Authority Kilupula in Karonga District have commended Fountain of Hope (FOHOP) for conducting girl's rights awareness campaign in the area describing it as a catalyst to ending child marriages.

The girls’ rights campaign aims at raising awareness to end child marriages, promote girls’ right to education and promote sexual reproductive health among the youth.

Speaking in an interview after the event at the school's football ground, Twikifye Women’s’ Group Chairperson Loyce Msukwa described the event as timely in the area as parents in the area fail to recognize the need to keep a girl child at school.

“The awareness has come in good time as most pupils in our communities here face several challenges that easily push them to drop out of school. So, with this awareness, girls and parents have known the value of keeping girls in school and ending child marriages,” said Msukwa.

In a separate interview, Nalutete Junior Primary School Headteacher Lazarus Mandalo admitted that the area has a lot of setbacks that cause pupils to quit education, but requested for collaborated efforts from community members and teachers in the area.

a member of Twikifye Women's group receiving face masks and sanitary pads from FOHOP Executive Director

“Despite the challenges, for us to be successful in promoting girl’s right to education and ending child marriages, there is need for us to join hands. Parents should always make sure that their children come to school every day when teaching and learning is in progress,” said Mandalo.

The Headteacher also revealed that some of the challenges that pupils are facing are long distances to school, lack of clean water in the area and lack of role models.

In response to the concerns raised by the community members, FOHOP Executive Director Shola Kauluka urged girls to work hard in school and assured the members the organization will take all the complaints to the relevant authority so that girl’s right to education and ending child marriages are achieved.

Kauluka: we will take the concerns to relevant authorities

"We will lobby for the Government through Ministry of Education to upgrade the school to become a full primary school so that pupils do not have to walk longer distances to attend to the higher classes, that is, standard 6 7 and 8,” he said.

In promoting sexual reproductive health of the youth, FOHOP presented 23 face masks and 10 sanitary pads and promised to train members of Women’s Group on how to make them using locally available materials.

FOHOP is working towards ending child marriages in Group Village Heads Mwangwela and Mwanjasi in the District, Nalutete is among the catchment areas.