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Beatrice Nkhomelo is from Malata Village Group Village Head Malata , Traditional Authority Ngabu in Chikwawa district. Beatrice said that she is an Initiation Councillor who is locally called Nankungwi and before the coming of the Breakthrough Action project, initiation ceremonies used to be conducted wrongly.

“We used to teach the children who were attending the initiation ceremony songs that had obscene language and this made them not to have good language when they go out there. Also, instead of teaching them lessons and other life advice as intended, this is not what used to happen,” said Nkhomela.

In terms of the period of sending the children to initiation ceremonies like Unamwali, Nkhomela said that they used to send them when schools were opened.

“Most of the children used to miss a lot of classes which made most of them not perform well in class when they go back to school,” said Nkhomelo.

Nkhomelo said that it was very sad that most of the children especially girls used to drop out of school soon after taking part in initiation ceremonies as most of the messages were about advice that the girls have to do in marriage.

“We used to teach them the importance of pleasing a man in marriage,” said Nkhomelo

Being one of the Community Action Group (CAG) members who was trained under the Breakthrough Action team, Beatrice said that she is now transformed on how best to conduct the initiation ceremonies.

“We sued to conduct our Unamwali with over 200 children but now we have changed and we are now able to conduct them with about 10 children,” said Nkhomelo

“We also used to encourage them on the importance of practicing Gewelo.

This is the act of building a small house for a male or female child of ages between 11 to 14 years.

According to Nkhomelo, this tendency is used to fuel sexually transmitted diseases and even increase cases of teenage pregnancies as either a male or female child could allow his or her partner to sleep over a night.

Nkhomelo said that this tendency has been ended and children are now sleeping in the same house with their parents. This has also assisted parents to monitor the time when the children will be arriving at home when they go to their friends to play. This has also assisted parents to be monitoring the progress of their children’s education as they can check their notebooks every day.


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