Thursday, April 22, 2010

NGO sensitizes teachers on child trafficking

An anti-child trafficking campaign by an NGO called People Serving Girls at Risk is currently underway to prevent Malawian girls from being trafficked as prostitutes to South Africa for the World Cup in June.

The organisation Executive Director Caleb Ng'ombo disclosed this at Mdeka Teacher’s Development Centre during a training session for 15 teachers to impart them with skills in protecting children‘s rights.

The project called Building community competences in child protection involves several stakeholders including traditional leaders and the police.

Ng'ombo observed the Mdeka area being in a strategic place between Mwanza border and Lunzu township, known for prostitution.

Ng'ombo also expected chiefs to remain vigilant against commercial sexual exploitation of children which facilitates trafficking of girls.

He however appealed for more security and protection when handling more technology advanced traffickers.

“Although us as human beings get scared we have to fight human traffickers since a lot of children are being trafficked to South Africa and Europe and face horrendous acts.

“We are increasing awareness, educating girls and boys who are vulnerable. We will sensitize chiefs as traditional leaders to remain vigilant. We will also train the police as law enforcers and communities,” said Ng'ombo.

Besides learning about the evils and tricks of trafficking, the teachers also learnt about good hygiene for students, human sexuality, traditional practices, family and community values among others.

Blessings Nyirenda, a teacher at Namikasi Secondary School who teaches life skills said issues of personal hygiene are vital and appealed for government to enable villagers access clean water regularly by providing chlorine to treat streams.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A visit to Mdeka Primary School

I visited Mdeka Primary School in rural areas and found very friendly, intelligent children seeming to enjoy class! The plastic bottles at the bottom are a very creative way of storing water in used bottles to wash hands after going to the pit latrine etc.

The children drink clean water using plastic water dispensers. A teacher told me some villagers draw water from streams or boreholes if they are nearby.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New sick ward for Chichiri inmates

There were ululations and excitement in the air last Friday when Archbishop Tarcisius Ziyaye of Blantyre Archdiocese officially opened and blessed a 15 bed sick ward at Chichiri Prison.

Archbishop Ziyaye encouraged self-support in charity work among Malawians and not only relying on outside help. He also preached about God’s love for all and disclosed how many years back at Lilongwe diocese he prayed with “our friends” at Maula prison.

Ziyaye thanked the Italian Episcopal conference (IEC) which donated the furnished clinic through the initiative of Sister Anna Tommasi, a missionary from Italy. In the pictures, prisoners including those in a Catholic and CCAP choir and paralegals watch the proceedings.

Elderly inmate at Chichiri Prison

As I went to Chichiri Prison to cover a story I couldn't help but notice this elderly man and wonder what kind of crime he committed. Anyway prisons are supposed to be a place of rehabilitation and renewal of life...everyone is given a chance to reflect and change. That face haunts me...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Friday in Malawi

Good Friday, a holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Golgotha (Calvary).  In Malawi, Roman Catholics and Anglicans commerated the day in a spiritual walk known as the Way of the Cross involving 14 stations.

The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and often coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover.

Auxiliary Bishop Montfort Sitima leads the procession in the Way of the Cross along Highway to Limbe Cathedral

Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star. this space.