Home » Governance » Joyce Banda Pledges to Uplift Children’s Welfare

The children, who were led by the Malawi Human Rights Youth Network, Unicef and Timveni, appeared before the president as a continuation to the children and the youth’s programme aimed at interfacing with all presidential candidates in the forthcoming elections to seek their commitment to addressing the needs of children and the youth when they come to power.

The youth and children who number more than 9 million and constitute 60 percent of the country’s population, said they were greatly marginalised and sidelined in decision-making processes and that they faced a lot of challenges in homes, communities, schools and health sector.

“It is time the people of Malawi started placing us as a priority. It begins with you our leader,” challenged the youth in their letter. “Hear our voices and change Malawi’s future today by making us your priority once you assume office in May 2014.”

Among the eight demands are that the Malawi leader should promise survival for children aged up to five years and above that no child would learn under a tree children with disabilities would go to school with right facilities in place and that there would be right measures for children to attain education beyond primary school.

The children also demanded from the Malawi leader to promise that girls would neither be abused nor forced to marry, and that their education would not end at home, but that they would be built up to contribute to Malawi’s development, with the right skills and jobs.

In her response, President Banda assured the children and the youth that her government would continue putting the country’s youth and children at the centre of everything.

She said promoting the interests of the youth was a job she had done for more than 30 years, referring to her earlier interventions through the establishment of the Joyce Banda Foundation which she said had since assisted thousands of children across the country.

President Banda said: “We realise that the youth are in majority, energetic, aenturous and they need support for them to actively participate in nation building.

“Children and youth in general have been at the heart of my work. This has influenced my policy perspective in developing programmes and strategies in empowering young people.”

Dr Banda noted that the youth aged between 15 and 35 years represented a significant proportion of the country’s population and that the PP embraced education as a tool for the creation and expansion of human capacities and abilities. – Malawi News Agency.

Source : The Herald