As one of the leading organisations in fighting Trafficking in Persons, The Foundation for Children Rights FCR, has taken the advantage of this year’s Umthetho Festival by the Ngonis of Mzimba to sensitize would be victims of the vice.
The Umthetho which starts today 12th to tomorrow Saturday 13th August, is a cultural celebration by the Jere Ngonis of Mzimba and led by Inkosi ya Makhosi M’Mbelwa V, brings together multitudes of people to the foot of Hora Mountain in the district.
Speaking in an interview, FCR Executive Director Jennifer Mkandawire, said Mzimba is one of the hot spots of trafficking in persons and irregular migration to South Africa hence the need for young people and parents to be aware of the existential dangers associated with the vice.
She said, through the festival, the organisation has been organising workshops in the build up to the event by meeting young people and women with tailor made messaging and she is encouraged by the response gotten so far.
“Human Trafficking is a human rights issue, we need to be concerned as a country, Malawi, which a signatory to different protocols on human rights. As such people need to be aware, if they are aware they can also participate in reporting cases of trafficking,” said Mkandawire.
She added that being most people victimised by trafficking in the district, young people do not have enough knowledge about irregular migration and trafficking in persons.
“Most youths are not aware that when people coerce them to migrate to South Africa they will meet different challenges. And now they are being given examples of cases that have been happening,” she added.
Meanwhile, at this year’s Umthetho, President Lazarus Chakwera, his vice Saulos Klaus Chilima and Prophet Shepherd Bushiri will be among key guests at the festival.
This is the first time in two years for the festival to take place after it had been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year the festival is being commemorated under the theme, “Campaign Against Irregular Migration and Trafficking in Persons.”