GENET builds ‘Champions of Change’ to defend girls’ rights

One of the country’s girl-focused Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) has embarked on a campaign to build community supporters as strategic partners designed to
champion girls’ rights.

GENET’s project officer Ennipher Masaka
Across-section of participants at Namphungo TDC

Popularly known as ‘Champions of Change’ concept, is a Plan International wide strategy aimed at promoting gender equality and social norms change through girls’ empowerment, boys engagement,
peer-to-peer mobilization and intergeneration dialogues.

Speaking during one of the ‘Champions of Change’ orientation meetings at Namphungo Teachers’ Development Centre (TDC) in Mulanje, GENET’s project officer Ennipher Masaka said the idea has been hatched to mobilize community support towards safeguarding the rights of girls.

“At GENET, we champion innovations to empower girls to become advocates of their own change as far as fight against gender inequalities and violence are concerned. Mobilizing community support by building and empowering ‘Champions of Change’ is what we are also into to create a protective environment in which girls can excel and enjoy their rights,” said Masaka.

Child marriage is one of the issues that the ‘Champions of Change’ are intended to address in their respective communities.

Masaka said over 50 ‘Champions of Change’ have been built in the areas of Traditional Authorities (T/As) Juma and Mkanda in Mulanje under the 18+ project, which is being implemented in partnership with Plan
International. The project seeks to keep in school, unleash leadership potential and end child marriage to persons under 18 years.

At Namphungo TDC, many participants expressed satisfaction of the concept, saying it had empowered them on how to go about effecting change in their communities.

“As a teacher, I will be able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired at my school because I have been exposed to content which has prepared me to be gender sensitive,” said Dickson Goliati from Mgodi
primary school.

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