Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. As is the case with most of the backward regions located in remote areas, Malawi is also riddled with the problems of child marriage. Malawi unfortunately has the highest rates of child marriages in the world according to a survey from United Nations. Theresa Kachindamoto put her blood, sweat and tears to banish child marriages in Malawi and in this effort she eventually managed to annul more than 850 child marriage.
Now considering the fact that child marriage is more than just a custom for these tribes, to be actually able to annul 850 child marriages is indeed praiseworthy. It is believed Kachindamoto used her position of authority over almost 900,000 people to achieve this staggering feat. Kachindamoto convinced 50 sub-chiefs to sign an agreement to annul all the existing child marriages and ban the future ones. Kachindamoto always strived hard to work for women and girl’s rights and she prioritized education for them. Seeing children as old as 10 or 12 walking around with babies was a disappointing sight to see for Kachindamoto.
Kachindamoto as one would expect, faced lot of resistance from chiefs who refused to honor this agreement. In this case she suspended all the chiefs until they agreed to banish the child marriages in Dedza District. Because of this commendable effort from the Malawi chief, children in Dedza District are able to see the face of school and now can channel their energy towards education. Moreover she funded most of the education for children out of her own pocket.
We salute this effort from Theresa Kachindamoto who despite all the odds, worked diligently towards the progress of their society and in turn the progress of humanity. Hats off to all the women around the world who manage to make us proud with their achievements.
Title image: fostergem