The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has engaged stakeholders including Mlambe Health and Social Trust (MhEST) to consult on planning, policy and budgeting for child-related programmes in Zomba.
The Ministry visited Zomba City Council on Friday, 31 May 2019 in an effort to develop and strengthen partnership with the institution and key implementing organisations for street-connected children in the city.
The consultation meeting comes on the backdrop of this year’s National Commemoration of International Day for Street Children held at Gymkhana Ground on 26 April, where the City Advisory Committee on Street-connected Children (CIACC) presented the Situation Analysis Assessment Report on Street-connected Children in Zomba to the then Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Cecelia Chazama.
Justin Kabela, Deputy Director of Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, said: “The purpose of our visit was basically to sell the policies and programmes that we have in the Ministry, particularly in the Department of Child Affairs, but also to see how we can build our partnership. Yes, we are the policy holders but the City Councils are the implementers. Therefore, we realise some of the gaps that exist in terms of provision of children services are there because we haven’t worked very well with the City Council.”
Gomezgani Nyasulu, Director of Health and Social Services for Zomba City Council, said: “We at times remain in a fix in terms of how to go about providing technical guidance and coordinating our partners within our jurisdiction becomes a challenge. Therefore we’re greatly humbled with the Ministry’s visit and feel like we’re now moving in the right direction towards really being implementers of national policies and strategies being developed. This will contribute to the attainment of the sustainable development goals.”
Jessie Gondwe, Children and Youth Programme Officer for MhEST, said: “This is a step to build up the initiatives that Mlambe Health and Social Trust together with other organisations in Zomba district and City Council have done before in terms of working on how we can collaborate at both the district and national level.
“In this case collaboration at national level is coming from the link that we now have with the Ministry and how we can emphasis on sharing the policies that are there in Malawi but also the strategies that have been formulated to support children in general and street-connected children in particular. This just builds on the work that we aspire as an organisation in terms of fostering and championing the coordination and cooperation between partners and government entities.”
Other key implementation organisations for street-connected children in Zomba City who attended the consultation meeting are Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), Bwalo Initiative and Zomba District Council.
see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O9cLiGzYiM&t=15s for visual interviews
see here https://soundcloud.com/mhestmalawi/ministry-engages-stakeholders-on-child-related-programmes for audio interviews