LILONGWE--Findings in Kasungu district suggest that a public awareness programme against child abuse is working.
Police in the district used to receive an average of six cases every month. Records now show a 50 percent drop in cases as they now record three each month.
Dorothy Nyirenda, a para-civic educator taught by Plan Malawi, believes people are now afraid of being exposed and going to jail.
She said chiefs and the whole community are being taught what to look for and what to do when they come across child abuse cases.
“Before, we used to have a lot of cases and the culprits went scot-free because no one was able to follow the stories up. But with the coming of the para-civic educators in the communities, we have seen hidden, untold stories come out in the open and the law taking its cause,” Malawi News Agency quoted Nyirenda as saying.
Para-civic educators help children know their rights and that the law is on their side.
Herbert Chidaya, Plan Malawi’s program coordinator, said the organisation is pleased it's improving "the quality of life of disadvantaged children, their families as well as their communities.”
Plan Malawi, which is currently supporting child centre community development programs in Kasungu, Lilongwe, Mulanje and Mzimba, also runs programs on maternal and child health, education, HIV/Aids, food security and economic development.
----©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.