Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A case of child abuse

Ziwani Ziyendani (not his real name) is 14 years old and has been a victim of child abuse since the death of both parents. ADRA Malawi Community Workers have helped him to report the abuse to the District Social Welfare Office.

Ziwani Ziyendani moved from ill-treating aunt
Ziwani Ziyendani lives in Chikumbu, Mulanje District, and lost both parents in 1998. When he was orphaned he came to live with an aunt, who was treating him ill. This matter came to the awareness of the wife of village Headman Malota, who has a keen interest in the affairs on the orphans in the village. She rescued Ziwani Ziyendani from his aunt and brought him to his cousins.

Driven out of school by abusive family
Ziwani Ziyendani has lived three years at his cousins’ place, but here the abuse only continued. Ziwani Ziyendani was against his will forced out of school. He was in standard 6 at Mithande Primary School. Ziwani Ziyendani was so interested in continuing his education that he attended classes even though he was told to stay out of school. He was discouraged when the family sold his goats he got from the Oxfam’s Income Generating Activity programme and when they tore all his note books apart to make him stay out of school. The family got their will and Ziwani Ziyendani has been out of school since.

Ziwani Ziyendani reported the abuse with help from ADRA
The wife of village Headman Malota became aware of the abuse and reported it to the chief who is yet to intervene. Ziwani Ziyendani also reported the abuse to one of ADRA’s Community Workers, who has been talking with the Headman concerning the issue. So far psychological support has been rendered. The District Social Welfare Office is the highest level in the District which looks after the welfare of children and women and turning in a report takes willpower and courage. ADRA has helped Ziwani Ziyendani to report the abuse to the District Welfare Office by empowering him and giving support. Now Ziwani Ziyendani’s rights and welfare are in focus and the abuse will be stopped.

Authors: Elizabeth Kantukule, Sidsel Faurholt

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