A Lusaka Clergy has challenged churches in the country to take a leading role in the fight against early marriages. A Lusaka Clergy has challenged churches in the country to take a leading role in the fight against early marriages.
Bishop Rodwell Chomba, who is also United Church of Zambia Lusaka Presbytery Bishop told the Lusaka Star in an interview that churches can help reduce early marriages by enhancing the capabilities of youth groups within their congregations.
The Bishop stated that these youth groups are key in transmitting informing about the dangers of early marriages both as a social problem and an economic problem.
“Most churches have youth groups and these are key in disseminating information on the dangers of early marriages. Through such groups, youths are given a platform to share ideas about different social problems and not just on early marriages,” he said.
Bishop Chomba added that these groups could also help in empowering girls and boys in some surviving skills like knitting, cookery and others.
He noted that thees skills are important as they could help youths earn a living in future and not depend on anyone for their survival.
Bishop Chomba said churches can come up with programs that would empower youths especially girls in terms of education.
He explained that girls are forced into early marriages because their parents or guardians are unable to send their children to school adding that this makes them feel marrying off their daughters would be a solution.
“Let churches come up with programs that would empower the youths especially girls. For example if churches can help sponsor girls that are out of school due to early pregnancies or lack of finances,” he explained.
Bishop Chomba has advised the church to devise programs that are aimed at sensitizing their congregants on the dangers of early marriages.
“Churches need to come up with programs that sensitise their members on the problems associated with early marriages as this would bring a reduction in the scourge which is robbing young people, especially girls, of an opportunity to excel in life.”
In April this year, First Lady Dr. Christine Kaseba officially launched the campaign against early marriages in Luangeni Village of Paramount Chief Mpezeni in Chipata District, Eastern Province.