Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), says there is need for girls to be empowered to remain focused in pursuit of various aspirations in life.
CHRR’s Yes I Do Project Officer for Machinga, Stain Katuli made the remarks on Saturday at Liwonde Primary School during a motivation talk for girls drawn from schools around the area of Traditional Authority Liwonde in the district.
Katuli said girls need to be engaged on a regular basis to help them build self – esteem and remain focused to achieve their dreams in life by creating opportunities to interact with female role models.
“Although this may not bear results immediately, it has long term effects where it leaves a mark on the girls and will continue to mediate and decide to work hard in class,” Katuli said.
Katuli, therefore, encouraged girls to remain in school despite facing a lot of pressure from friends and community, arguing that education was the only key to opening the doors of opportunities in life.
During the motivation talk, CHRR paraded a third year Chancellor College student, Zione James and a nurse from Machinga District Hospital, Tina Sankhulani as role models to encourage girls to remain in school.
On her part, James encouraged girls to be focused on education and set up goals and follow them through, saying doing so would help them achieve their dreams in life.
“Poverty should not be an excuse for failing to advance with education,” James challenged, noting that girls just like their male counterparts have potential to realise their dreams.
James also advised the girls to make the right choice of friends, observing that most girls have been misled due to bad influence.
Tina Sankhulani, Machinga District Hospital Nursing Officer advised the girls to have self control and that they should report to relevant authorities forced marriage or any form of sexual abuse.
Sankhulani added that teen pregnancy was life threatening and that girls should refrain from casual sex and instead work hard in class. “Dropping out of school will just add poverty to your life,” she advised, saying education was the key to success in life.
School dropout is common in Machinga despite interventions ranging from rights advocacy to provision of bursary to needy girls by various organisations.