Children in Malawi experience unacceptably high rates of violence. National data indicate that 41% of girls ages 13-17 experience physical violence and 23% experience sexual violence. Our programming improves the ability of both girls and boys to protect themselves from school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) through a targeted, peer-led curriculum that equips them with knowledge about SRGBV and life skills to respond to and report abuses. We work with teachers and school personnel to raise awareness of SRGBV and create safer school environments. We sensitize caregivers around SRGBV and the importance of girls’ education and engage them in economic strengthening activities to increase their ability to pay education expenses.
Bonanzas are one-stop shop events that provide on-the-spot linkages to medical, legal, and counselling support for survivors of violence; and bring together local gender-based violence (GBV) service providers who hold informational sessions and conduct individual consultations directly on school grounds. Bonanzas are a catalyst for actively forging working relationships between school authorities and service providers, building a foundation for reporting violence in schools.
Interface Meetings with duty bearers are platforms where students constructively engage with service providers, traditional and faith leaders, and local government to hold them accountable for service delivery and addressing reported cases of GBV. Accountability is critical in increasing reporting rates and help-seeking behavior among GBV survivors.