Lilongwe, September 5, Mana: Community Action Groups (CAGs) in Lilongwe have been challenged to be pro-active in raising awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) among young people.
Network for Youth Development (NfYD) Programme Manager, Lidace Nyirenda said this Saturday at Maula Parish Hall in during the closing of a day training workshop for CAG members drawn from Traditional Authorities (TAs) Malili and Chimutu in Lilongwe on SRHR. She noted that there was knowledge gap among young people on SRHR hence the need to provide vital information to CAGs in order to help in creating awareness.
“We are currently working in the two traditional areas of Malili and Chimutu where we observed that there were a lot of challenges young people were facing to access sexual reproductive health services. We want to empower them to reach out to several community structures with SRHR messages,” Nyirenda added.
The Programme Manager pointed out that young people need to be provided with right information on their SRHR so that they should be able to make informed decisions regarding their health rights. She said CAGs are instrumental in raising awareness among young people and it was interest that at the end of the training they have come up with awareness action plans to be implemented in their areas.
“The CAGS will be focusing on includes, sexual violence, child marriages, teen pregnancies, norms and practices affecting them among others issues. We want communities to be involved in issues of SRHR so that some of the challenges being faced by young people should be minimized,” she explained.
A member of Chimutu CAG, Makioni Levenia said the training has provided an insight on the issues of sexual violence and child abuse among young people.
He admitted that cases of sexual violence were on the increase in their area before development partners like NfYD, Oxfam and CAVOC came to implement several programmes aiming at ending gender based violence.
NfYD is implementing a four year project in TAs Malili and Chimutu together with Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) through Her Future Choice Project (HFHC) with funds from the Global Affairs Canada through Oxfam Malawi aims at strengthening SRHR among adolescent girls and young women and 4,000 of them are direct beneficiaries.
The training workshop had attracted 23 participants from Malili and Chimutu CAGs.