MAGGA in Fight against Sexual Abuses
The Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) in partnership with school structures in Mulanje has started implementing activities aimed at addressing sexual abuses on girls during this COVID-19 school holiday.
MAGGA Field Facilitator, Cosmas Malisero, says this is not time to relax for mother groups, School Management Committees (SMCs) and Parents and Teachers Associations (PTAs) but should continue providing counselling on sexual and reproductive health to school going girls.
“Actually, this will help the girls abstain from sexual immoralities because if left free during this prolonged holiday, some girls might get pregnant, others get married and fail to go back to school when schools reopen,” said Malisero.
A female teacher at Chigonjetso Primary School in Mulanje, Amina Sagawa, said that during this holiday, girls as well as boys have been advised to continue studying other than staying idle.
“We have engaged chiefs and parents to keep on talking to both boys and girls on abstinence to all immoral behaviors such as sexual immoralities and drug and alcohol abuse,” said Sagawa.
Chairperson of Chigonjetso Mother Group, Jane Tsabola, said the mother group members have all been assigned girls in their respective villages to protect them from all sorts of abuses.
“We come from villages where girls come from and now that girls are with us 24/7 we are continuing protecting our girls from gender based violence,” said Tsabola.
The activities fall under a project dubbed "Adolescent Girls and Young Women" (AGYW) which MAGGA is implementing in Mulanje with support from support Global Fund through Action Aid and Christian Aid.
On March 20, 2020 government ordered a temporary closure of public and private schools as one of the measures to prevent spread of coronavirus in the country.
Some quarters argue that this might lead to increased cases of unwanted pregnancies and early marriages for idle youth.