The Children’s Voice




Chisomo children took to the street recently - with a powerful message. 70 children and staff marched through the centre of Blantyre and its neighbouring town of Limbe. Waving banners, singing and playing drums, they attracted the attention of passers by who stopped to watch them perform street drama. Their message:


“It’s not by choice we’re on the streets. We too are human beings with dignity and potential.”


The children performed at places where people are used to seeing them. As they acted out their scenes, they asked the audience to give their suggestions and advice for their lives. Afterwards, one lady commented:

“This has made me realise that these children are not pests. They are just like any other children with skills and potential.” 




Chisomo enables the childrens voices to be added to the debate on their own future and protection. As international pressure to stop child labour increases, the children want a say in how this should be done. Chisomo is helping them to put forward their experiences and concerns through UNICEF and a media organisation here that is producing stories for the radio. As one of the Chisomo children said:

If children stop working, their families will suffer. Children should be given work according to their age and the government should make sure that parents don't give us work that stops us going to school. There is need for a meeting among children, youth, parents and government officials to discuss what is good for children.”

Mphatso struggles to earn a living and support  his  whole family. In his drawing (above), he shows himself  carrying this load for 50 Kwacha (9 pence). He thinks he deserves more.


The children say:


“We chose the name Chisomo because we felt that it was by the grace of God that we could meet together.”

“Chisomo is an organisation that helps us in our thinking so that we can go to school”

“The aim of Chisomo is to reunite us with our families”

“Chisomo protects us from sexual abuse”