NYCOM hails SAT Malawi
The National Youth Council of Malawi-NYCOM has commended the SRHR Africa Trust-SAT Malawi for recognizing efforts of young people in the country.
The council’s Communication and Advocacy Officer, Yvonnie Sundu says such appreciation encourages young people to do more, thereby bringing change.
She was speaking at the prize presentation ceremony for this year’s Adolescent Activism Awards by SAT Malawi.
“We acknowledge the job you have done by recognizing what young people are doing across Malawi especially in rural areas. There is so much they are doing but it is not appreciated.
“These represent efforts of so many youths out there who are trying to change their communities by creating a conducive environment for young people especially girls,” said Sundu.
Four girls from Nkhotakota under the Atsikana odzuka (The Vocal ladies) name, won the main prize and walked away with over 341, 000 kwacha.
The group has been recognized for their role in ending gender-based violence in the area which has escalated due to Covid-19.
“The girls from Traditional Authority Mphonde, Nkhotakota, are excellently contributing to ending violence against girls such as child marriage in the district.
“They are an epitome of change and are indeed doing business unusual with response to child marriage issues that have escalated with the pandemic due to closure of schools,” says SAT Malawi Country Director, Robert Phiri.
In reaction to Covid-19, effects in Malawi, the four, Faida Mgombe and Fitsani Ziyada both 15, Amina Bashiri, 17 and Agness Ndhlovu 21, started a campaign known as ‘Give Her Books Not a Husband’.
It was aimed at encouraging girls to continue with their education as opposed to being forced into marriages by involving duty bearers for action.
“Together with the social welfare officer, the girls established evidence of the cases of fellow adolescents who failed to sit for Primary School Leaving Certificate due to pregnancy and marriage.
“After influencing the chief to command families to withdraw their children from the marriages, they went further to seek financial support from Umunthu Plus Organization which is supporting education of 10 girls out of the 24 who had gone to marriage since July 2020,” reads their profile.
Other girls who were withdrawn from marriages have just completed a tailoring course facilitated by the four girls, it adds.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Phiri called for concerted efforts from different youth focused organizations.
“There is a lot happening g in Nkhotakota that needs urgent attention. Cases of gender-based violence now stand at 120 from January to August this year and we have so many children married off,” she said.
Asima Kapalepale, 25, from Machinga is the runner up having been recognized for engaging fellow youths, community gatekeepers, district influential people and NGOs in turning the gender-based violence situation around in Nayuchi.