MAGGA says EVAWG project has improved sexuality education in Dowa

By Vincent Gunde

The Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) says Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) project has improved knowledge on comprehensive sexuality education amongst boys and girls of the age ranges between 10-24 years in Dowa district.

The project which is targeting adolescent girls and young women with boys, parents and community structures as secondary beneficiaries is being implemented in the areas of traditional authorities Dzoole, Mkukula,, Msakambewa and Chiwere in the district.

Cosmas Maricello-.the project has been successful in Dowa district.

139 schools, 120 primary schools and 19 secondary schools have been targeted, 39,012 adolescent girls, young women, boys and young men have been reached with comprehensive sexuality education through the girl guides and boys scout clubs in the schools.

MAGGA’s Project Officer Cosmas Maricello, said the project has strengthened capacity of school structures on GBV and SRHR, 305 community gate keepers, ADC members, parents, initiation counsellors, PTAs, SMCs and mother groups members.

Maricello said the project has oriented school governed structures on Parent-Child communication and trained in making communities safe for adolescents and young people, 518 teachers were trained on GBV, SRHR, Life skills, 278 matrons and 240 patrons and distributed tree seedlings to some of the schools through Area Development Committees (ADCs).

He said training of girls and boys as peer leaders has enhanced awareness of GBV, SRHR and Human Rights information amongst learners and increased reporting mechanisms amongst boys, girls and community members.

“The project has seen high performance of girl guides and boys scout club members at school as well as boys and girls becoming more aware of effects of harmful cultural practices, early marriages and early pregnancies and are taking an active role in addressing the issues,” said Maricello.

He said beside the project register success stories, it has some challenges such as transferring of trained patrons and matrons to other schools, skyrocketing prices of commodities due to devaluation and high inflation of the Malawi Kwacha, school drop outs, among others.

MAGGA has been implementing a five-year (EVAWG) in Dowa district from 2020 with financial assistance from Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)/Dan Church Aid (DCA).