The government says it recognizes the important role that Child Protection Workers (CPWs) play in society by protecting children from various forms of abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation.
The Principal Secretary responsible for Finance and Administration in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development, and Social Welfare, Nwazi Mnthambala, said this at Mponela in Dowa during the closure of a seven-week-long training program for CPWs.
She said CPWs are key in ensuring that children and other vulnerable people are protected, hence the need to equip them with relevant skills and training. “Together, we can build a society where every child is safe, nurtured, and given the opportunity to fulfill their potential,” she said.
According to Mnthambala, the Ministry is working towards improving the delivery of child protection services and other social services by strengthening the social welfare workforce. She said the ministry was working hard to ensure that the CPWs are recruited, as most of them are working as volunteers.
The training, which drew together 85 participants from all 28 districts, was supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF’s Chief Child Protection Officer, Kristina Wesslund, described the CPWs as the backbone of the social work profession, being the first point of contact as they are located within the community.
Wesslund pledged UNICEF’s continued support to the government for child-related interventions. “UNICEF continues to pledge its support to the Government of Malawi to ensure that all Malawian children are protected and empowered to reach their potential.
"To do this, we need to work together,” she said. One of the participants, Mary Sangaloti, from Mulanje, said the training was an eye-opener as she had acquired more knowledge, which she will apply in her work as a child protection worker.
By Pauline Kaude.