Promoting child protection cluster in ntcheu
It is an undeniable fact that Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new normal life. Things are being done differently. For instance, the recommended measures to control the spread of the coronavirus can increase children’s risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Though children’s health appears less affected than older people, children’s education and protection structures are in disarray.
In our efforts to support frontline structures and promote child protection during the pandemic, Save the Children supported a child protection meeting with stakeholders at district level in Ntcheu. Critical issues discussed during the meeting include; gender-based violence, children’s risk of violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Similar cluster meetings have also been conducted in Phalombe, Neno and Mwanza districts.
In his opening remarks, Director of Health and Social Services Dr. Issac Mbingwani urged participants to explore viable interventions that would protect children from violence, abuse and ill-treatment during the pandemic. “As a government, we appreciate the support we get from our development partners. Save the Children is one of our partners that is doing remarkable work here in Ntcheu and other districts. Save the Children has supported this meeting for us actors in the children protection sector to share lessons and find solutions during Covid-19”. He said.
He further said the support will go a long way in strengthening child protection structures in the community as well as at the district level. “Now that the schools have closed and most people are working from home, gender base violence cases including children abuse are likely to increase. We are grateful to Save the Children for supporting this cluster meeting and revamping community victim support units in all the Traditional Authorities in Ntcheu district”. Explained Paul Makalande Social Welfare Officer for Ntcheu district.