Dowa — Government has stressed the importance of using Theatre for Development (TFD) to disseminate information to communities in issues affecting them.
District Youth Officer (DYO) for Lilongwe, Dalitso Manthalu said this Friday in Mponela, Dowa during the closing of a weeklong TFD workshop under Her Future Her Choice a Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Project being implemented by Network for Youth Development (NfYD) together with Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) and Oxfam with support from Global Affairs Canada.
He said TFD significantly helps communities to uncover their problems and at the same time come up with tangible solutions.
Manthalu said young people drawn from Chimutu and Malili areas have been equipped with new skills where they would be able to disseminate vital information regarding sexual reproduction health to their fellow youth.
"We are encountering a number of social issues that are affecting our communities which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. There are number of cases that being reported of rape, defilement, child marriages and school drop outs that need to be resolved at all cost," the DYO pointed out.
He said TFD could play a role of changing community's views in some traditional beliefs that are harmful to both young boys and girls.
Manthalu added that some harmful traditional beliefs could not end overnight, there was need for time in order for communities to appreciate and TFD activities could be one of the best tools to use for them to understand well.
He said girls need to be protected from sexual harassments and they should not be forced to engage into sexual activities at a tender age.
Project Manager for Agatha Njunga said the training was meant to build capacity for young adolescent boys and girls to be able to share right information of sexual reproductive health rights.
She said the participants have been trained to disseminate such information to parents, guardians, traditional, religious and opinion leaders in order to reduce cases of teenage pregnancies and high school drop outs in their areas.
Njunga said the use of TFD brings the messages closer to the communities so easy and there maximum interaction
She said communities need to break the silence on issues of rape and defilement and they should be able to report such incidences.
Oxfam Project Coordinator, Thandizo Mungwira urged the participants to utilize the knowledge gained during the training and bring positive developments within their communities.
She said there need to come up with appropriate messaging of issues so that communities should be able to understand the issues without difficulties.
Chimutu Youth Network Chair, Esther Toney said they have a responsibility to ensure that social ills happening in the areas are reported to relevant authorities for action.
The training had attracted 20 participants, were issued with certificates in TFD.