Teaching rights and obligations
Helping families understand the law
Knowing and understanding laws about child labor is important but it’s not always the reality for those most affected by child labor. We counseled Maria’s parents about the law and effects of child labor. Now she’s back in school.
Fifteen year-old Maria Kasambwe is the sixth born child in a family of seven and lives in Lilongwe, Malawi. Maria left school at age 12 because of poverty and began piecework projects in maize and tobacco fields. During the targeted efforts of the ARISE Child Labor Monitoring System (CLMS), she was found to be engaged in child labor and her case was referred to the local Community Child Labor Committee (CCLC). The CCLCs are community-based organizations comprised of senior chiefs and other local leaders who are trained by ARISE to understand local child labor laws and how to monitor and enforce.
In Maria’s case, the CCLC followed up by visiting her home and offered her and her parents counseling about the effects of child labor. Her parents agreed with the CCLC about the need to end Maria’s child labor and committed to send her back to primary school. Maria soon returned to Mchemani Primary School in Lilongwe, and now dreams of becoming a doctor saying, “I want to become a medical doctor. I feel passionate about it, especially when I see sick people queuing for hours in hospitals waiting for a doctor.”