Our Child Diversion programme in Malawi - Mwai Wosinthika 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, 18-year-old David (we’ve used a pseudonym to protect his identity).
18-year-old David from Malawi, participant in IRLI's Child Diversion Programme Child Diversion programme Mwai Wosinthika.
"The programme also helped divert me away from the criminal justice system; instead of going to prison, I was given the chance to partake in the programme. That motivated me to change my life so that I do not one day end up in prison."
IRLI: Tell us about your life in Malawi.
D: I stay with my parents and my life is fine.
What sort of difficulty with the law were you involved in?
I used to fight a lot, I used to also smoke weed and cigarettes. I was also involved with the wrong people and we used to do a lot of bad things. I used to give in to peer pressure a lot.
How has the IRLI’s Child Diversion programme benefited you?
The programme has helped me mend the relationship with my parents. Because of what I used to do, my parents and I were not seeing eye to eye. But after I took part in the programme, the relationship between my parents and me changed for the better. I also stopped hanging around the wrong crowds.
What has your involvement with the programme been?
I was part of the 11th batch of Mwai Wosinthika and we graduated in 2019.
Do you feel happy to have been involved in the programme?
I am really happy to have taken part in this programme because of the lessons that I took away from the different sessions. The programme also helped divert me away from the criminal justice system because, instead of going to prison, I was given the chance to partake in the programme. That motivated me to change my life so that I do not one day end up in prison. If I hadn’t been involved in the programme, I would have continued to break the law.
What would you like to do with the remainder of your life?
I would like to continue with school and possibly higher education. But if that fails, I would like to learn some vocational skills like painting and renovating houses.