By Lloyd M’bwana
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-SOS Children’s Village with its young people this week courts African Union (AU)-Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO) on various social and economic rights challenges affecting their daily life.
Among serious concerns including poor standards of education, unemployment, unfriendly youth policies, lack of skills for management, exclusion on climate change and environmental management and insufficient of reproductive health services in public facilities.
According SOS Children’s Villages many young people are being left out in the scope of development where old and unproductive ones remain in control.
The organization’ young people drawn from Lilongwe peri-urban-Mtandire are therefore seeking AU intervention as a regional body on social and economic challenges affecting their well-being.
SOS Children’s engagement with regional bodies comes three weeks after launching
”No child should grow up alone” campaign.
The campaign seek authority, communities and families to urgently provide conducive environment for children who are being victimized from various social-economic ills in the country.
In an interview with the Maravi Post, Linda Harawa, SOS Children’s Villages Advocacy and Communication Officer, observed that many young social and economic rights are still infringed.
Harawa said rights denial has resulted many into destitute, street beggars, robbers and prostitutes for survival.
She therefore urged the regional body to intervene with formidable policies and infrastructure support that favor young people’s growth.
“Although there have been some progress development in social and economic empowerment of youth through some initiatives, underfunding to such programs remains a challenge. As a result young people continue to suffer amidst a rich policy framework for their development.
“We need the regional body to facility provision of sustainable policy guidance coupled with platform where young people issues can be held easily and addressed,” says Harawa.
While acknowledging challenges young people are facing, AU-SARO Dr Auguste Ngomo said time was ripen for the generation to develop agenda of life.
Dr. Ngomo agreed with the grouping for the need to have a platform where their voices on various issues will be raised.
The SARO therefore assured young people in the country that the regional body will support them with resources on environmental management initiatives including tree planting exercise.
Dubbed as “No Child should grow up alone aims at ensavaging children from being destitute.
The initiative launch comes amid shrinking of parenthood as some children are abandoned and forsaken by parents, communities and the state.
This has ended them into streets begging for survival consequently subjective to torture in various forms.
The initiative which runs till 2020, expects to strengthen structures that nurtures Children with necessarily resources.
The launch of the campaign coincided with the commemoration Universal Day of the Child” which United Nations put since 1959 and it falls on November 20, yearly.
According to SOS Children’s Villages research shows that one in every ten world’s children are growing up alone.
In Malawi, a high proportion of girls (65%) and boys (35%) under the age of 18 have experienced violence; 25% are used as child labour and 25% of girls are at risk of early marriages.
Its also estimated that 12,000 children live in child headed households and approximately over 10,000 children are in institutional care.
Many of these children are living without any form of protection or support making them vulnerable to abuse exploitation and neglect.