CAHESH engages men in adressing GBV, mental health concerns

Campign for Health Education,  Sanitation and Hygiene (CAHESH) on Saturday officially launched a K2 million dart tornament to create a platform for men to discuss ways of addressing Gender Based Violence (GBV) and mental health in the country.

The tornament has been launched under the theme: engaging men in addressing GBV and mental health concerns in Malawi “Saved by a Dart”.

Speaking during the official launch, Minister of Gender, Disability, Children and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati said such forums would help to address issues of GBV and mental health as the men will have a platfprm to discuss them leading into reduction of suicide cases by men.

 “This is a good place to discuss issues of GBV and mental health issues because most men will be found at one place and on Saturday and Sunday they can also be going to churches to discuss with men and women on issues that affect them in their families,” she said.

Kaliati and others show messages as commitment. Pic by Linda Likomwa

Kaliati then called upon different paterners who are working towards ending GBV and adressing mental health issues to come forward and support such forums.

Speaking earlier, CAHESH Executive Director, Macdonald Kaluwa said men’s involvement through community based approaches would challenge and change the social norms and attitudes that causes and perpetuate violence.

“Through continuous engagements, men will be able to take lead in challenging harmful traditional practices such as Child marriages, teen pregnancies, rape,defilement and shall begin to promote the safe use of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights services among women and girls while reducing violence against women and girls,” he said.

Kaluwa added that his organisation engages men through capacity building approaches in terms of skills, knowledge and attitude on gender equality and protection and also encourages active participation of men and boys in eliminating gender stereotypes,designs and Implementation programmes to enable men adopt to safe and responsible sexual and Reproductive behaviours.

Southern Region Dart League General Secretary, Kelvin Nyirenda said 11 teams are going to participate in the tornament and K1 million kwacha will be used for prizes as the best team will go away with MK500,000 while player of the tornament will receive MK40,000 among others.

One of the players Thomson Sitima from Nkula Egenco Dart Club said the tornament will help him to desserminate GBV and mental health information among fellow youths and that the discussion will also help him prepare for his marriage life.

He thereore commended CAHESH for involving them to be champions among their fellow youths in dessemination GBV and mental health issues.

One of the speakers Marcel Chisi from MEJN commended CAHESH for engaging men in places they are found adding that engaging men and boys is the fastest way of achieving gender equality in the country as most men assume issues of GBV were for women.

He further said men were also faced with challenges of being seen as perpetrators of GBV and not people that can help end them.

The tornament is expected to end on May 28 and the games will be played in Zomba, Chikwawa with finals taking place in Blantyre.