Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi has called for a strong resolve to protect youths from rights violations such as Gender Based Violence (GBV) which destroy their future and self esteem.
Muluzi spoke in Lilongwe when he officially opened the Act Alliance Dissemination Conference on sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR).
“Let us commit to facilitate access to information for youth on sexual and reproductive health and guide them in making sound and right decisions. Let us not as a community sideline the important needs of youth for appropriate religious and traditional guidance that adequately addresses their needs.”
“As leaders in faith, culture and other institutions we are all obliged to invest in youth for a prosperous Malawi,” said Muluzi.
He thanked the German Government through KfW for providing the funding for the N’zatonse project through PSI, ACT Alliance, FPAM and Pact Malawi.
Speaking earIier, German Ambassador to Malawi Juergen Borsch said he is happy that there has been substantial progress in the health sector which his government has been supporting since 1960.
He announced an extra funding of 10 Million Euros, extending the project for another three years to 2020.
“The German Government has further committed 10 million Euros in 2016 to extend the project to its third phase from 2018 onwards where we will strengthen the focus on unmarried youths aged 10 to 24 given the need for SRHR services among the youths,” said Borsch.
Dan Church Aid Country Director Finn Petersen said N’zatonse has emerged victorious.
“As ACT Alliance (Dan Church Aid, Norwegian Church Aid and faith institutions) we have triumphed and have enabled the youth in rural areas attain their rights within faith institutions. We have addressed pertinent SRHR issues affecting youth and women,” said Petersen.
Speaking on behalf of faith and religious leaders, Rev. Francis Mkandawire said Malawi’s population is largely youth and that the faith community greatly values the potential that the youth have.
“We can harness their energy and potential into the leaders we desire. We believe that God has entrusted Malawi with youth so that we give them guidance to become future credible leaders in their families, society and the nation. We have an obligation to invest in our youth for their bright future,” said Rev Mkandawire.
The three day conference has drawn various stakeholders taking part in the N’zatonse project and its theme is ‘Breaking the Silence; faith communities taking action on sexual reproductive and health rights among youths’.
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