YWCAM Worried with Increased Number of Teen Mothers
The Young Women Christian Association of Malawi (YWCAM) has expressed worry over increasing number of teen mothers at a time most households are struggling to survive due to negative effects of COVID 19.
YWCAM Executive director, Nettie Dzamala, told Zodiak on Wednesday that there is need for various stakeholders to rescue adolescents from harmful and risky situations.
“As you know when covid 19 hit, we saw that schools were closed and a lot of girls were pregnant,” said Dzamala.
The executive director explained that through the programs which they have lined up, they are improving self-esteem on teen mothers to be in a position to take care of their children.
“We are imparting business skills to these adolescent mothers and care givers to achieve economic independence. We are also motivating the mothers to encourage their children to attend early childhood care and education,” she explained.
Dzamala was speaking at Naizi Teacher Development Centre at Bangwe in Blantyre during the business training of teen mothers and care givers with support from Comic relief and Sweden Norad.
An 18-year-old teen mother, Patricia Amos, from Nkhukuteni in Blantyre commended the regional Psycho social support initiative and Young women Christian Association of Malawi for the support they are rendering to improve the lives of adolescent mothers.
Minister of Gender, Patricia Kaliati, says her ministry is working with over 800 non-governmental organizations across the country to protect the girl child from early marriages.
“We want to applaud NGOS for the work they doing to support government in protecting the rights of the girl child. As government we have withdrawn more 10, 000 girls from forced marriages,” said minister Kaliati
In Malawi, adolescent fertility rates are high and estimated at 136 per 1000 births.