Girls Empowerment Network for local languages in GBV messaging

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GENET Programs Coordinator, Twambilire Kayuni

NKHATABAY (Malawi News Agency) – Girls Empowerment Network (Genet) says communication plays a great role in the fight against gender-based violence (GVB) among girls.

Nkhata Bay Genet project officer MsJuliet Simbeye said this on Thursday during a week-long training for girl mentors drawn from different traditional authorities in the district.

“As a response to the communication barriers we had observed, we have decided to translate the manuals from English to Chichewa so that it’s in a language everybody understands,” she said.

Simbeye further advised the mentors to take advantage of the values in the community and any locally available resources to teach their mentees.

Looking at the battlefield against GBV, Genet provided different games as one way of attracting more girls to the safe spaces.

One of the participants, Ms Lusungu Chirwa from Traditional Authority (T/A) Zilakoma, thanked Genet for providing the games.

“We don’t take this for granted, these games will help us in our safe spaces such that some girls will be wooed to come just because of the games, but in the process, we will be discussing different issues concerning our lives as girls,” she said.

On her part, district youth network chairperson Miss Catherine Mkandawire said mentors are supposed to be role models in their` communities to gain trust from mentees and their guardians.

“Sometimes it begins with you mentors, the way you present yourself will have an impact on the message you deliver in your communities.” She emphasized.

GENET Programs Coordinator, Twambilire Kayuni

T/A Zilakoma, whose area is part of Genet’s catchment, described the development as welcome.

However, he felt that the male child was sidelined and left to concentrate on destructive behaviours.

Genet is young women’s rights organisation that works to uplift the rights, status and well-being of vulnerable girls and young women.

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