Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) has said early marriages are fueling abuses against children and young people in Machinga.
The revelation has been made by FPAM project Coordinator Beatrice Banda, on Thursday during a training workshop in Liwonde, which was aimed at fighting early marriages.
According to Banda, early marriages escalates abuses of rape, being beaten and being forced to drop out of school.
Speaking in an interview Banda said it is an entrenched culture that girls be married off once they come of age.
“In this district there is a culture that demands a girl comes to get married when they come of age. Boys are expected to find something to do and be independent despite being young,” said Banda.
Banda added that they are hoping to get through to traditional leaders to end some cultural practices which are putting children and young women in the district on the verge of being abused.
Commenting on the matter George Mpemba, President of three watch groups; Mposa, Liwonde and Nsanama, said children in the district are facing a lot abuses like being raped, being beaten, being forced to drop out from school and being forced to get married.
“We are going to organize various meetings with chiefs, children and parents to enlighten them on various forms of abuse and what to do and where to go in case children have been abused”, said Mpemba.
Mpemba said they have been equipped with knowledge on how they can handle abuse cases in their area.
FPAM is currently implementing a project in the district aimed at ending abuses against children and young women from 10 to 24 years.