16 April 2018

Malawi: Genet On Mission to Empower Girls in Schools

Lilongwe — One of the country's renowned nongovernmental organizations, Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) is on a rare mission of empowering girls in schools in order for them to achieve their goals.

Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Friday, GENET Programs Officer, Twambilile Kayuni said many girls in schools in the country face various challenges which interrupt them to go further with their education.

"In schools girls are the most vulnerable that face more problems which leads them to drop out; these problems include but are not limited to sexual abuses and lack of learning materials," said Kayuni.

She added that GENET has established clubs known as 'Ant Sexual Gender Based Violence' in 35 primary schools in the areas of Traditional Authority Kayembe and Chakhaza in Dowa district aimed at protecting girls against sexual gender based violence.

She said GENET has managed to drill 55 male and female teachers from Traditional Authorities Chakhaza and Kayembe as matrons and patrons of the ant sexual gender based violence clubs.

Kayuni said the teachers have been imparted with ant sexual gender based violence, child protection and case management strategies in order to assist in solving issues of sexual gender based violence and other related cases in schools.

She said the teachers have also been equipped with roles and policies of safeguarding rights of girls and their education.

According to Kayuni their organization believes in working with teachers saying that teachers spend more time with students.

"As GENET we believe in involving teachers in our various projects as teachers spend over 80 percent of their everyday time with pupils," the GENET Programs Officer explained.

Kayuni also said as GENET in conjunction with OXFAM Malawi they are also working with chiefs, parents and community mother groups in order to eradicate early marriages in communities and promote girls' education.

She said the main focus of GENET is to amplify the voice of the girls in order to claim and defend their rights by forming girl's networks which she said promote girls rights in schools and communities.

Currently the organization has introduced different projects in Dowa, Phalombe and Nkhata Bay which include; Improved girls access to Sexual reproductive health information, Girls not brides, Marriage not child's play and The enabling girls to challenge gender based violence project.

GENET projects are being fully funded by COMIC Relief through OXFAM Malawi as a lead partner, according to Kayuni.


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