Group Photo of workshop participants-pix by Williams Mponda
BY PRINCE HENDERSON

The Secretary General for the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Reverend Father Henry Saindi has expressed the need for responsible parenthood and proper guidance especially to the youths as a way of controlling population which is fast growing at an alarming rate.

Fr. Saindi was speaking Catholic Secretariat in Lilongwe when he opened a two-day advocacy workshop for Diocesan Social Communication Secretaries and Youth Chaplains on responsible parenthood and procreation.

He said the Catholic Church I equally concerned with the way the population is growing hence joins the rest of stakeholders including government in ensuring that the country’s population is manageable for the growth of socio-economic development.

“Currently people are talking about 18 million and yet the land and resources we have as a nation are not expanding. Population growth has been blamed on the Church because most people believe we encourage people to have as many children as they can,” said Fr. Saindi.

He said the topic on responsible parenthood within the Church setup, therefore is one of the major concerns of the Bishops and against this background they produced a booklet on responsible parenthood.

“This workshop therefore, is a clear demonstration that the Catholic Church is not silent on national issues such as population growth. Populations control is a theme high on the agenda of the Church. Of course, as Church, we advocate for Natural Family Planning Methods,” he said.
Fr. Saindi challenged Church Communicators and Pastoral agents to talk about and encourage parents and the youth on Natural Family Planning methods.

“You are called upon to be agents of this campaign for responsible parenthood. Come up with concrete strategies to disseminate the message contained in the booklet-Responsible parenthood for our people to make informed choices,” said Fr. Saindi.

One of the facilitators to the workshop, Fr. Thomas Kasiya, a Counselling Physiologist, Marriage Counselors and an expert in sexual management said Natural Family Planning methods is crucial as it enables couples to plan on how many children they should have.

He said this method is also good for it has no body effects hence cheaper and easy to use.
ECM is implementing a project dubbed advocating for responsible procreation through its Social Communications and Research Commission with funding from USAID through Health Policy Plus.

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