Bantwana Initiative’s School-related Gender-based Violence Program in Malawi Featured

June 14th, 2019 | News

The Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (COWLHA), funded by World Education’s Bantwana Initiative, is taking action against school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) toward Malawi youth.

In a recently published article in the Malawi News Agency, KU students bemoan lack of seriousness in handling GBV, students from Traditional Authority Simlemba in Kasungu have been dissatisfied with the ineffectiveness of teachers and chiefs in handling reports of gender-based violence.

One student, Luke Cirwa, expressed his concerns stating, “We are always dissatisfied and sometimes feel abandoned. When we report GBV cases we usually face at home or school, they are not taken seriously and most of them are not completed and none of us get feedback in the end.”

Through the Bantwana Initiative’s Essential Gender-Based Violence Services and Prevention project, COWLHA created an intervention plan to help students raise awareness of those affected by GBV and help change the outcome of how reports are handled. The initiative uses a multi-sectoral approach which integrates interventions at the individual, household, and community levels and aims to reduce the incidence of SRGBV in secondary schools.

As a subgrantee to EngenderHealth, World Education in partnership with COWLHA, is implementing the project in two traditional authorities of Wimbe and Simlemba in the district. The project seeks to improve girl’s and boy’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth, as well as their knowledge of the impacts of gender-based violence. 12,000 students are now in schools that are safer as they are now preventing and reporting gender-based violence.

Additionally, the Bantwana Initiative is piloting school-led activities which bring together health and social service providers, promote positive sexual and reproductive health behavior change, and links adolescents to services such as HIV testing and counseling.

Learn more about our work in Malawi.

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