By: Vincent Gunde
A sexual and gender based prevention organization, Ujamaa Pamodzi Africa will implement a – 17 months ” Empowerment Transformation Training under the Spotlight Initiative programme in 9 districts of the country, including Dowa.
Pic: Ujamaa Pamodzi Africa crew….envisions an empowered society free from violence against women and children….
The programme will target vulnerable groups of children ( girls and boys) youth and women of Ntchisi, Dedza, Salima, Mangochi, Nsanje, Nkhatabay, Machinga, Mzimba and Dowa districts in the children, youth and women empowerment, 6 districts under Sportlight Initiative budget and 3 under UNICEF.
In Dowa, the programme will be implemented in the areas of five traditional authorities: Mkukula, Msakambewa, Mponela, Chiwere and Dzoole targeting 2,500 pupils from primary schools, 1,400 students from secondary schools and 100 community youth volunteers.
Speaking when introducing the programme to the District executive council committee in Dowa, Ujamaa Pamodzi Africa Coordinator, Janet Mbawala, said the programme envisions an empowered society free from violence against women and children believing in evidence based interventions.
Mbawala said the programme has the objective of reaching every boy and girl to motivate and provide them with the requisite skills to prevent violence against women and children and monitor youth ambassadors to champion violence against women and children vision.
…” The programme has plans to conduct Ujamaa’s Empowerment Transformation training for girls empowerment and self defense and boys Transformation trainings, training mother groups and teachers, community youth volunteers and refresher classes, among others”,..said Mbawala.
She said the programme will be implemented in collaboration with the Malawi Police, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Women, Children, and people with disabilities, District executive council committee and community stakeholders including mother groups, teachers, and other implementing partners in the safe schools programme.
The Coordinator said the programme is expected to reduce annual incidences of sexual violence among school girls and boys, increase in disclosure in reporting and seeking help if abused, and reduction in school dropouts related to pregnancy and children marriages, among others.
On sustainability plans, Mbawala expressed hope that 100 youth volunteers from Dowa district will be recruited, mentored and trained in the curriculum gaining leadership skills to be expected to be the role models and linkage to their communities and carry on the programme even after Ujamaa’s exit from the community.
In his remarks, Dowa District Council’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Thanira Gondwe, expressed hope that the programme will achieve its intended outcomes, urging all NGOs to share reports to the council to enhance cooperation, transparency and accountability purposes.
Empowerment Transformation Training under the Sportlight Initiative programme will be implemented with funding from Unicef under the Sportlight Initiative amounting to MK 324,779,483.00.