Genet drills GBV counsellors to render psychosocial support to victims

Girls Empowerment Network has drilled gender-based violence (GBV) counsellors in Nkhata Bay to render psychosocial support to victims in the district.

A cross-section of participants

Speaking on Tuesday during the training, the organisation’s project officer Julie Simbeye said they want to ensure that girls are protected from GBV.

She said: “We want girls to know their rights.

“They should also be able to report rape, defilement, forced marriages and child marriages.”

Simbeye said they rescue girls from early marriages and put them in safe spaces where they open up to their peers or mentors about their situation.

She said: “In each community, we have psychosocial counsellors who counsel children or girls going through GBV.

“The counsellors also tell the girls about the importance of school.”

One of the psychosocial counsellors, Chrissy Banda from Traditional Authority Mankhambira, said the training equipped her with the skills to handle GBV cases.

“We have learned to create a rapport so that the victims can feel welcome and be open to tell us their problems,” she said.

Another psychosocial counsellor, Jenala Kondowe, said they will intensify GBV awareness in their communities to reduce forced marriages.

She said: “There are people who do not know that forced and child marriages are against the law.

“So, our target is to bring awareness to such people.”

The organisation is implementing a GBV project with support from the Spotlight Initiative in the district.

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