Sheikh Chirwa speaks positively about the Breakthrough Action project
Eliyasa Chirwa, from Nyenje Village, Traditional Authority Kawinga in Machinga is one of the beneficiaries of the Breakthrough Action project. He was one of the people who attended the training under the project. He was trained as a Community Action Group (CAG) Member.
Chirwa said that the project has assisted his community to bring a positive change in the education sector
“Several children who dropped out of school due to different harmful cultural practices have returned to school after explaining to them the importance of education,” said Chirwa.
Chirwa said that there was a tendency in most parents in marrying off their girl child before reaching the age of 18 and while at school. He said that there were several reasons why many parents were marrying off their female students.
“Lack of knowledge on the importance of education among many parents was a big problem for they used to think that educating their female child is a waste of time as they had in mind that only male child is the one who is supposed to get educated while the female child ends up getting married,” said Chirwa.
As a Sheik, Chirwa said that there are several things that he does to ensure that he publicizes the importance of education and this is done after attending a prayer session at the mosque.
Chirwa said that he uses messages in the Quran to say that any person who is supposed to get married is supposed to reach a point where he can support himself or herself well despite reaching the age of 18.
“When there is a wedding in my village, we also tend to focus on the ability of the two people who are getting into marriage if they can support themselves. This is because there is a tendency where one child just gets married to please their parents as most of the parents tend to look for grandchildren from their children,” said Chirwa.
Chirwa said that since most parents tend to expect grandchildren from their children, this makes most individuals below the age of 18 drop out of school and get married before reaching the age of 18.
He said that even the constitution of the Malawi Government states that no person is supposed to get married before the age of 18 and this is linked with what he preaches to the mosques.
“If one gets married before the age of 18 and drops out of school, poverty levels tend to be increased in the country,” said Chirwa
Chirwa said that with several thematic areas that he learned under Breakthrough Action, he learned that there is a need for good parenting among families to ensure that they achieve child spacing in their families.