The Malawi First Lady, Monica Chakwera has hailed the Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) for the tireless efforts to support girls and young women in the Country and ensure they grow into productive citizens in the society.
The First Lady made the remarks at Civo stadium on Saturday, during commemorations of 25 years [Silver Jubilee] organized by Malawi Girl Guide Association (MAGGA).
The first lady said she recognizes the various supportive programs and mentorship by MAGGA that aims at preparing the girl children to realize their potential as they grow, saying such lessons whilst young adds more positive impact in their educational life.
Madame Chakwera said she understand various abuses girls and young women are facing such as early marriages among other practices that impede girls education and she asked Traditional leaders to take an active role to discourage the malpractice in the communities.
“Marriages can always wait. Let us encourage our girls to work hard in school. Let me advise girls and young Women not to take an easy way out in life, use the challenges you face as a ladder towards achieving your dreams.
“Sometimes men make advances but you need to be strong and fight your way out until you are ready,” said Chakwera
Representative for the Minister of Education, also Director of basic Education, Grace Milner said the ministry appreciate the various efforts of MAGGA in contributing to girls retention in schools.
Milner said the Ministry understands some of the challenges faced by girls in schools, saying this is why they are encouraging construction of change rooms for girls in school, to address their needs.
According to Assistant UNPFA Country Director, Dorothy Nyasulu, said statistically, one in every two girls are getting married before they turn the age of 18.
Nyasulu said about 25 percent of babies that are born in the country, are from young girls.
President for the Malawi Girl Guides Association, Susan Phukaphuka, said the organizations activities are meant to empower and uplift lives of the girls and young women so they enjoy their rights.
MAGGA was established in 1912 and ceased to function in 1967 and got re-established in 1997, and has over 368,000 members in 24 districts of Malawi.