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, 16 year old James (we’ve used a pseudonym to protect his identity).
IRLI: Tell us about your life in Malawi?
J: I stay with my parents and my life in Malawi is pretty good.
What sort of difficulty with the law were you involved with?
I used to do drugs mostly with my friends. I used to hang around the wrong crowds.
How has the IRLI’s Child Diversion programme benefited you?
It has helped me stop a lot of negative things that I was doing and also break off friendships with people who were bad influences in my life. I now surround myself with positive influences and friends. I have mended a lot of broken friendships and relationships, particularly with my parents because they were not happy with what I used to do. But now they are happy.
What has your involvement with the programme been?
I was part of Mwai Wosinthika 11. We graduated in 2019.
Do you feel happy to have been involved in the programme?
I am really happy to have taken part in the programme because it really helped me. It helped me change my bad habits and helped me start hanging around good friends. The programme also helped me stop doing drugs and helped divert me from the criminal justice system.
What would you like to do with the remainder of your life?
I would like to become an engineer.