Our Child Diversion programme in Malawi centers on diverting children, who come into conflict with the law, away from the formal criminal justice system. We’re continuing with our monthly series, profiling some of the children/teenagers who have taken part in our programme. Today, 17-year-old Chimwemwe (we’ve used a pseudonym to protect his identity).
17-year-old Chimwemwe, participant in IRLI's Child Diversion programme - Mwai Wosinthika, Malawi.
"I learned a lot from the Mwai Wosinthika programme. I particularly enjoyed the Sexual Reproductive Health session. It taught me ways in which I can prevent diseases."
IRLI: Tell us about your life in Malawi?
C: I stay with my parents and I am happy with my life in Malawi.
What sort of difficulty with the law were you involved with?
I used to hang around the wrong crowds. We would do drugs and sometimes they would tell me to go steal from people. They used to teach me a lot of bad things that were detrimental to my life.
How has the IRLI’s Child Diversion programme benefited you?
The programme helped me get the courage to stop hanging around the people who were bad influences. I had even stopped going to school, but now I go to school.
What has your involvement with the programme been?
I believe that if I had not been part of this programme, I would have probably ended up in prison. So it really had a positive impact on my life.
Do you feel happy to have been involved in the programme?
I am really happy that I look part in the programme. I learned a lot from the Mwai Wosinthika programme. I particularly enjoyed the Sexual Reproductive Health session. It taught me ways in which I can prevent diseases. It has also helped divert me away from the criminal justice system because I stopped hanging around the wrong crowds.
What would you like to do with the remainder of your life?
I would like to learn how to fix cars so that I can become a mechanic.