BY WATIPASO MZUNGU JNR
Minister of Youth Development and Sports Lucius Kanyumba on Friday appealed to parents in Balaka to stop marrying off their daughters at tender ages and, instead, let the adolescents concentrate on education.
Speaking after paying a visit to a Balaka-based Nkhadze Alive Youth Organization (Nayorg) on Friday, Kanyumba lectured the parents that marry off their daughters in exchange for fortunes that teen marriages cannot solve the socioeconomic challenges, but increase the poverty levels.
“Give children a chance to learn…they have a right to education. Don’t force them into marriages because that won’t solve your socioeconomic problems. Early marriages will just exacerbate the poverty situation of the families,” said the minister.
Kanyumba stated that studies have shown that a majority of teen marriages suffer from complications and often the relationships to not last long.
“It’s teenage mothers that are at greater risk of socioeconomic disadvantage throughout their lives than those who delay childbearing. As parents, you need to know that adolescent pregnancies are associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality for both the mother and infant,” he said.
But the minister hailed Nayorg for its youth programmes saying they are inspiring young people to concentrate on education.
Nayorg executive director Charles Sinetre said his organization was committed towards empowering the youths with skills for HIV and early marriage prevention.
“We’ll remain committed towards empowering young people to achieve their dreams,” Sinetre assured.