Lilongwe Youth Organization Empowers Young People through SRHR Initiative
The Youth Forum for National Transformation (YOFONAT), a youth organization in Lilongwe, is carrying out an initiative called Achinyamata Tikambirane, writes Happy Valirani.
Malawi-Youth Forum for National Transformation (YOFONAT), a youth organization based in Lilongwe, is implementing an initiative called Achinyamata Tikambirane aimed at empowering young people with sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) education, leadership skills, and gender equality promotion, writes Happy Valirani.
Chifundo Robert, the Executive Director of the organization, stated that the initiative was established in 2019 after observing that many young people in Lilongwe were at high risk of contracting HIV.
"We set up the club to help create awareness and share information. We have received funding from an organization called the Bhubesi Pride Foundation," said Robert.
Since the inception of the Achinyamata Tikambirane initiative one year ago, the group has reached out to 300 young people from five communities in Lilongwe district’s Area 25.
In addition to providing health information on SRHR, YOFONAT connects young people with health service providers such as PSI Malawi for those seeking family planning services, blood testing, and access to anti-retroviral drugs.
Laurent Kamanga, the program assistant for Bhubesi Pride Organization, said they partnered with YOFONAT because they share a similar scope of work, promoting youth health, sports, and education.
"We provide support such as finance for the running of the project, transportation, and other materials such as t-shirts and banners," said Kamanga.
Through the initiative, young people have access to HIV testing services to know their sero-status, family planning methods, and prevention of early pregnancies.
Jasmine Hamis, a 21-year-old from area 25A, said the Achinyamata Tikambirane initiative had been beneficial to her as she learned a lot about SRHR.
"I was not aware that there are HIV and AIDS emergency preventive methods like PREP and PEP. All these I have known through this initiative," said Hamis.
YOFONAT envisions a world where young people can access health services and medication, and 75 percent of the organization's work is carried out by volunteers committed to creating an informed community and providing sexual and reproductive health rights information to as many young people as possible.
That’s great strides towards the goal 👍🏽