UN Women on Monday donated 250 bicycles to girls who are child-marriage survivors, as a way of encouraging them to complete primary and secondary school education.

The girls, who are from Senior Chief Kachindamoto in the district, received the bicycles at a function which was held at Kachindamoto’s court.

Speaking after handing over the bicycles, UN Women Country Representative in Malawi, Clara Anyangwe, hailed Senior Chief Kachindamoto for annulling over 1500 child marriages in her area and sending the girls back to school.

“The practice of child marriage robs girls of their childhood and education opportunities, condemning them to a vicious cycle of poverty.

“As UN women, we want to strengthen the life skills and education for child marriage survivors to ensure that they complete their primary and secondary school education,” Anyangwe said.

In his remarks, the guest of honour, Director of Chiefs Administration in the Ministry of Local Government, Charles Makanga commended UN women for complementing the good job Senior Chief Kachindamoto was already doing.

“Government knows the importance of working with chiefs who are the custodians of culture to end harmful cultural practices that have a negative impact on the country’s development,” he said.

Makanga added that the Ministry of Local Government was currently conducting reforms where chiefs will no longer work in isolation but in chiefs’ forums.

He said in these forums, they will be sensitised to work together to end harmful cultural practices.

Senior Chief Kachindamoto, who was all smiles, thanked UN Women, who besides donating the bicycles also donated furniture for her office.

“When girls are educated, everything is possible,” she said.

Speaking after receiving the bicycles, Elizabeth Chagona who is a learner at Golomoti Community Day Secondary School, said the bicycles would ease mobility for girls when going to school.

She said they had to walk long distances to get to school, a development which led to some girls to drop out.

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