Over 30 journalists converged in Salima from December 19-24, 2021, for an intensive gender and youth reporting training workshop.
The training was organized by six Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), which have teamed up to empower young people in Machinga and Dedza to fight teen pregnancies, child marriages, sexual gender-based violence and harmful cultural practices following the increased cases in the two districts.
The concerned NGOs include the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), YouthWave, Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC), Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE), Malawi Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Alliance and Amref Health Africa.
During the five days of the training workshop, the journalists, who were drawn from different media houses across the country, honed skills on how best they can report on matters concerning the youth and gender.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the training, an official from Amref Health Africa, Twambilire Mwabungulu, said their aim is to empower young people so that they fight anything evil that comes on their way.
“As NGOs, with financial support from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands, we have partnered to implement a five-year- “Power To Youth” Project to fight the above cited evils in the two districts following the increased cases.
“Our aim is to amplify young people’s voice so that they can stand up when they are abused and report the perpetrators of child marriages, sexual gender-based violence to police. We want child marriages, teen pregnancies, SGBV and harmful cultural practices be eliminated in the two districts,” said Mwabungulu.
He appealed to the trained journalists to go flat out in the areas and unearth stories that perpetrate the evil activities, saying this will help duty-bearers to take actions.
“Again, let me also take advantage of the same gathering to ask stakeholders under this roof from the district social welfare office, gender office, youth department and health sector to do more in implementing activities that fight the menaces,” he asked.
District Gender Officer (GDO) for Machinga, Rita Sukasuka, pledged to embark on activities that will fight harmful cultural practices, which tend to expose the youth to danger.
Sukasuka also promised that she would champion the enforcement of by-laws which the district established.
A reporter at Dzimwe Community Radio in Mangochi, Maureen Kawerama, said she will use the skills she gained to influence other media personalities to write more stories that expose perpetrators of the evil of child marriages, teenage pregnancies, sexual and gender based violence and harmful cultural practices.
Article first published on https://allafrica.com/stories/202112300325.html