Malawi’s Save the Children Country Director, Kim Koch addressing the media

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The newly Malawi’s Save the Children Country Director, Kim Koch has vowed to put more effort in uplifting children’s needs with focus on those living with Albinism.

Koch assured the nation that is passionately committed to giving children the best chance in life – a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm.

The director bemoaned child rights violations continue to manifest in many different ways: too many children are still getting married and bearing children; living with hunger; are homeless, illiterate; suffer sexual violence, physical abuse, forced labour; and face many other risks.

She was addressing the news conference on Wednesday in the capital as the organisation celebrating 100 years of its existence world wide, and 36 years in Malawi.

Koch told reporters that children living with albinism is also priority for the organisation saying resources will be put forward that they be protected also.

She therefore disclosed that in the next 2019-2021 strategic plan for Malawi, Save the Children will place special emphasis on adolescent children, particularly those in hard to reach areas as they continue to be disproportionately affected.

Malawi’s Save the Children Country Director, Kim Koch

Below is the full statement  by Save the Children Country Director, Kim Koch delivered on March 5 2019; 

I would like to start by saying how excited I am to join this team and to continue my work with Save the Children.

This organization is passionately committed to giving children the best chance in life – a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm.

It’s a mission that I believe in very much and I’m proud to work with so many staff members that are dedicated to it.

2019 is a special year for Save the Children. We are celebrating our 100th birthday. Our story began in 1919, when our founder Eglantyne Jebb launched the pioneering fight to save suffering children across war-torn Europe.

Her passionate message helped her raise funds to provide meals for hundreds of thousands of children affected by the war, and started the first global movement for children.

Jebb was the author of the ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child’ which years later was the inspiration behind the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Today Save the Children continues to lead the way in the spirit of Eglantyne: being bold, courageous and compassionate as we take a stand for the rights of children around the world.

 

During this centenary year, we look back and reflect how far we have come; and celebrate the achievements we have made for and with children.

We are however, still aware that millions of children around the world, including in Malawi, are still suffering even when the world knows how to save them.

Save the Children has worked in Malawi since 1983. We support the government and local partners to ensure all children have a bright future. We are proud to have contributed to Malawi’s Millennium Development Goal successes.

By 2015, Save the Children had reached 4.7 million Malawian children with food, health care, education and other social protection programmes. We contributed towards:

  • Improving the learning environment for children;
  • Increasing girls’ retention and completion of primary school;
  • Improving access to high quality reproductive health services for adolescent girls; and
  • Strengthening child protection systems

Despite this progress, child rights violations continue to manifest in many different ways: too many children are still getting married and bearing children; living with hunger; are homeless, illiterate; suffer sexual violence, physical abuse, forced labour; and face many other risks.

Millions of children are being left behind and denied the opportunity to survive and fulfil their potential. We are reminded that:

 

  • 37% of children in Malawi under the age of five are stunted
  • 1 in every 2 girls marry before the age of 18. This is the 11th highest rate of child marriages in the world
  • 80% of children under the age of 14 have experienced physical abuse
  • About 22% of the country’s youth are unemployed
  • School dropout rates remain high among children and only 35% children make it to secondary school.

 

Our vision remains as urgent and relevant as ever before: “A world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.”

 

As the world concentrates on the Sustainable Development Goals; Save the Children will support governments and global agencies to ensure that children remain at the heart of the global development agenda.

In particular, Save the Children is committed to inspiring three breakthroughs for children by 2030:

  • No child under the age of five dies from preventable causes
  • All children receive a quality basic education
  • Violence against children in no longer tolerated
  • In our 2019-2021 strategic plan for Malawi, Save the Children will place special emphasis on adolescent children, particularly those in hard to reach areas as they continue to be disproportionately affected. We are committed to ensuring that:
  1. Children in Malawi are protected from all forms of violence
  2. We contribute to the elimination of child marriages in Malawi
  3. We reduce the prevalence of teenage pregnancy
  4. There is improved access to quality adolescent, child, and maternal health and nutrition services
  5. There are greater options for youth transitions to safe and resilient livelihoods
  6. Children in schools have improved learning outcomes
  7. We promote the fulfilment of child rights implementation in Malawi

In our 36 years in Malawi, Save the Children has been a key government partner in uplifting children’s lives.

We are thankful to supporters like you (the Media) for focusing on children’s issues. We must all work together to create a Malawi where children have a healthy and safe childhood, the opportunity to learn, and a voice to speak for themselves.

The Media has a crucial role to play in making Malawi the best place for children. We urge the media to:

  • Be children’s voices: To ensure that children’s voices are not excluded from the public debate on child rights.
  • Increase coverage of children’s issues: Ensure that there is meaningful presence of children’s issues in the media, and the profile of child issues is raised in the public domain
  • Ensure professionalism: it is important that the media themselves do not abuse children, but rather uphold their integrity at all times. The media needs to embrace ethical guidelines on reporting children’s rights
  • Hold government and other stakeholders accountable on their role in fulfilling children’s rights
  • For our part, Save the Children will commit unrelenting support to address challenges that affect the media in carrying out their critical role ensuring the attainment of children’s rights.

We will continue to provide inspiring content to you on children’s rights, linking you with children through our various programmes; and providing training to the media on child protection guidelines and effective child coverage.

Save the Children’s door will always be open for dialogue with the media on how we can work together help children attain the future that they deserve.

I thank you for your kind attention and I wish you success.

 

 

 

 

 

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