Balaka Network hails Manerela+ for advocating for inclusiveness

Chairperson for Balaka Civil Society Organization (CSO) Network Sheikh Ishmael Maulidi has hailed Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected With HIV and Aids (MANERELA+) for its tireless effort in advocating for inclusiveness of all people including those who fall in the key population or minority groups.

Kachepatsonga facilitated the meeting

The Sheikh said this after Manerela+ held an orientation of District based  CSOs networks for Balaka District based on various human rights issues including sexuality.

“The training will go a long way in helping marginalized people in our society and we expect Manerela+ to continue advocating for inclusiveness of all the people in our society regardless of our differences on cultural beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity among others” said Sheikh Maulidi.

One of the participants at the meeting a Mr. Saidi from Foundation for Sustainable Development in Balaka said:  “This training has really helped me because my perception towards other grops of people mainly
those that fall under LGBTI has completely changed”.

He added that before the training, his mindset was that LGBTI are outcasts sent by demons.

“Based on the knowledge I have obtained from the training, I now realize today that LGBTI are human beings and must be treated equally like any other person” said Saidi.

On his part, MANERELA+ Projects Officer Harold Kachepatsonga revealed his organization has lined up a number of orientation sessions for CSO’s on human rights also in Zomba and Mangochi

“The meetings are aimed at building capacity to CSO’s on Sexuality,Human Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity. Our aim is to bridge the knowledge gap that exists among many CSOs in Malawi as far as issues of LGBTI are concerned.  These trainings will ensure that CSO’s develop an understanding of human sexuality as a starting point for creating an enabling environment for key populations in Malawi,” said
Kachepatsonga.

According to Kachepatsonga, many organizations in Malawi are failing to implement interventions targeting key populations because they are not aware of the challenges key populations such as LGBTI persons
face.

“This training will enable the CSO’s to implement interventions targeting key populations. As a country we can’t achieve 90:90:90 targets if we don’t have interventions specifically targeting key populations,” he said.

The trainnings are being conducted withsupport from Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) .

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