Photo: Sven Kubetzko
Uncontrolled, rapid population growth as it can be observed in Malawi is a huge problem. It will result in more poverty, in an even more crippled education system etc. It is expected that the current population of approximately 17 million will increase to about 40 million in the next 20 years.
One step to slow down population growth is to end child marriages. There is a deep rooted acceptance of child marriages in Malawi, resulting in one of the highest rates in the world. 50% of the girls are married off before 18. Early in 2015 the Malawian legislation raised the minimum age of marriage to 18. But according to Section 22 of the Constitution it is still allowed that young people between the ages of 15 and 18 may marry with parental consent. Another challenge is that enforcement measures and civic education are needed for the law to have impact. The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) works closely with churches, communities and traditional leaders to inform them about the law and the consequences of child marriages and to change the attitude towards child marriage.
EAM also promotes family planning using contraceptive methods. But we are against ending the life of the unborn. EAM motivates churches to include the topic of family planning in their activities. We target the persons who directly influence family planning decisions to inform them about contraceptive methods and to correct fears and misconceptions related to family planning. It is EAM’s objective to change the attitude and behaviour. Although EAM cannot tackle every challenge we try our best to ensure that family planning is affordable, acceptable, feasible, sustainable and safe to everyone.