District Commissioner (DC) for Karonga Richard Hara, has asked Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the district to start engaging in activities and projects in order to ensure that there is a conducive environment for children in the district to enjoy their rights.
Speaking at the recent commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Karonga, Hara said that although there are registered achivements by some NGOs and CBOs, the promotion and protection of the rights of children in Karonga, remains on paper.
“You will observe that although there are efforts on the ground to address the child protection and empowerment, many stakeholders are engaging in business as usual, as they just talk about it.”
“As a result, many adolescent girls and boys in the district continue forcibly drop out of school in order to get married,” said Hara.
Hara added that through some partners like the Livingstonia Synod AIDS Program (LISAP), and World Vision, Karonga has made some positive strides toward the protection of children
“In our district, we have so far, formed and strengthened community based structures like Community Based Child Centres, and supported orphans and vulnerable children with school fees in various secondary schools, among other support,” said Hara.
The 2017 Day of the African Child was commemorated under the theme ‘Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunity for all Children.’
Karonga commemorated the Day with support from LISAP.
In his remarks, District Education Manager (DEM) for Karonga Scotch Kondowe, called for the district’s child rights activists to sensitize young people in the district to exercise their rights with responsibility.
Kondowe said that some children in the district are behaving irresponsibly in schools under the banner of freedom.
During the day pupils from different schools in Karonga played dramas, poems among some other activities.
The Day of the African Child was set aside by the African Union for Member States to use the occasion to advocate for promotion, and respect child rights in African continent.