Malawi is one of the countries with the highest rate of child marriages in the world, with half of the female population being married before the age of 18. This is not a problem that only affects girls, and this amazing woman, Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto is battling tradition to make sure that children stay in school and get to enjoy their childhood.
In June 2015, Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto annulled 330 customary marriages – of which 175 were girl wives and 155 were boy fathers – in Dedza district, in the Central Region of Malawi. The objective was to encourage these youth to return to school, and continue a healthy childhood.
“I don’t want youthful marriages,” said Chief Kachindamoto. “They must go to school… no child should be found loitering at home or doing household chores during school time.” The Chief clearly states that opportunities that the youth have today, were not readily available for her. Marrying early in her time was a norm.
I want to take a moment to appreciate the uphill battle that Chief Kachindamoto is fighting. When faced with the brick wall of tradition, it can be hard to keep believing that real progress is possible. I admire the crap out of this woman and her mission.
The numbers of children she has managed to save continues to grow.