Malawi

As a subgrantee to EngenderHealth, we use a multisectoral approach that integrates interventions at the individual, household and community level.

While Malawi’s rates of new HIV infections have drastically reduced in recent years, young girls and other vulnerable populations continue to bear the burden of the epidemic. In schools, we work with students and teachers to lead discussions on gender-based violence, reproductive health, and prevention of HIV. Students are made aware of how sexual violence, STIs and HIV can be prevented and are encouraged to practice safe practices. Students are also presented with opportunities to develop their life skills and change the stigma around HIV. We also work with parents and caregivers to help them recognize risky behavior and effectively communicate with their children.

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Through our VSLA groups for caregivers, families are able to participate in savings and credit activities to strengthen household economic resiliency and social support networks. We believe that laying additional services on top of VSLA activities influences desired behavior change in communities. Our work with caregivers of OVC and other community members complements the VSLA methodology with a parenting curriculum to sensitize caregivers about the importance of girls’ education and to equip them with the skills and tools to identify and reject GBV.  Parents and caregivers are encouraged to use the funds saved in the VSLAs groups not only for household economic strengthening activities, but also to invest in girls’ education.

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We equip teachers and school administrators with the knowledge, skills, and tools to identify SRGBV and report and refer cases for services.  School personnel also receive training on gender sensitization, decreasing stigma around pregnancy in schools, pro-girls’ education approaches, positive discipline, classroom management, and response and referral mechanisms. Our Protect Our Youth Clubs are administered as an after-school activity where students are introduced to and practice life skills to identify and report GBV and understand how to keep themselves safe from risky sexual practices that might negatively affect their educational success.

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We enhance direct linkages with our partner, EngenderHealth, whose program strengthens civil society and government coordination for GBV prevention and response and promotes linkages between multisectoral actors to improve legal responses to GBV. Victims of SRGBV are referred for response services supported by EngenderHealth, such as health clinics, legal aid units, or shelters so that victims may access the full continuum of services.  

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By The Numbers

12,000 secondary school students in 40 Community Day Secondary Students aged 14 - 17 years old who will benefit from our program in Malawi
5,000 women and men targeted to be organized in Village Savings and Loan Associations across 5 districts
500 teachers and school personnel who will receive training and education on the importance of reducing school-related gender-based violence