Thursday, 25 October 2012

The International Day of the Girl Child in Pictures

Dr Mary Shawa on the Middle making her opening remarks
Centre for Youth and Development joined the rest of the world in the commemoration of the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child which was commemorated on the 11th of October 2012. The day was commemorated under the theme "Mylife, my Right: End Child Marriage"
CYD participated in the National Public Debate on Child Marriage - what should be the legal minimum age for marriage in Malawi? In Malawi the current marriage age is 16. The debate drew participants from various sectors namely; UN Agencies, the Government, the Clergy, Civil Society and the children themselves. On the panel were; Dr Mary Shawa, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Rezine Nzikamanda, High Court Judge of Malawi and Senior Chief Kwataine. a traditional leader from Dedza District.
A cross-section of participants
The public debate gave an opportunity to various stakeholders who called upon authorities i.e. government and the local leaders to take action on the marriage age which is currently at 16 years in Malawi but  which also  allows children  who are  15 years  to  get married with  a consent from their parents. From the discussions, one thing that is for sure is that all sectors i.e. the Civil Society, the Clergy, the Ministry of Education and the children themselves etc, feel that 16 years is on the lower side for any person to get married.
The minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Anita Kalinde making her closing speech
 Children, also actively participated in the debate voiced out the implications of getting married at a tender age.  The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare informed the participants in her closing remarks that arrangements are at an advanced stage to review the  Marriage  Bill so that it conforms to  International legal  instruments on children like the  United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the rights and welfare of children (ACRWC). Local leaders also pledged their commitment to stop harmful cultural practices that fuel   up child marriage.  

.....of the Global Peace Games for Children and Youth 2012.

Children playing Netball
Children and Youth gathered at Chigongorelo primary school in Dowa District run around to play and enjoy their right to a childhood. Children all smiles and their echoing laughter characterise the day. Children from the age of 8 came together to commemorate the "Global Peace Games for Children and Youth 2012". All faces seemingly happy and in peace hiding the fact that these children face a number of problems.

Center for Youth and Development (CYD) organised the event to give children an opportunity to commemorate and join the rest of world in the commemoration. CYD mobilised the event on 22nd September 2012. The Event brought together children and youths who played a number of games namely; football, netball, volleyball, bawo, nsikwa, Nguli and many others which were supplemented by talks on how various games can be used in the promotion of Gender Equality, women empowerment, ensuring environmental sustainability and combating HIV and AIDS.
Children playing Nguli
This year's event was made possible by the individual committments of the members of CYD who work on voluntary basis and the individual children and youths who took time planning and provided their own resources to make the event possible. children made balls from locally available materials.
PLAY SOCCER founded the Global Peace Games in 2001 to promote a global network of children and youth committed to a culture of friendship, understanding and peace. The Global Peace Games are “grass roots” soccer games that take place under the initiative of PLAY SOCCER and are organized by organizations and communities around the world. The Games are linked by common themes and encourage children and youth to share and celebrate the values and skills they learn on the playing field through sport and to find peaceful solutions in their daily lives and communities. The Games take place in the fall of each year at locally scheduled dates around the time of the United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21st).