Malawi Girl Guide Association in anti-drug abuse street campaign drive

Malawi Girl Guide Association (MAGGA), a non-governmental organization that is chiefly concerned with the welfare of girls, Monday was all over the streets of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe where they sensitized the populace on the disadvantages of drug abuse.

Ziyabu stressing a point during the street campaign.

MAGGA in partnership FORUT [campaign for development and solidarity] says because of too much smoking and alcohol abuse, parents “are sparing little time” for their children as far as their well-being is concerned.

The road show campaign with men and women from Patsankhondo village of Mitundu in Lilongwe, started at Mbowe Filling Station around Mchinji Roundabout via Lizulu Market breathing to the end at Mtandile – a highly populated area in the capital famed for the consumption of sachet liquor and home distilled gin, Kachasu.

According to the coordinator of the project, aimed at ‘Safeguarding Girls and Young Women from Drug and Alcohol Use and Other Related Harm’, Khama Ziyabu told Nyasa Times that they are certain that the street sensitization campaign they conducted will impact largely on the mindset of the people they actually talked to.

“There is little attention given when we talk about these things on radio or television. We felt like talking to people physically would be best,” said Ziyabu.

Apart from engaging people on one to one basis, MAGGA’s team that included men and women plus scanty youth here and there, distributed leaflets and wore t-shirts with messages against drugs and alcohol abuse.

For example, some of the points the leaflets highlight are that alcohol abuse can be cause for domestic violence in homes, can cause serious health repercussions and also can bring down household development.

One of the parents Nyasa Times talked to, Felix Sajiwa, of Mitundu in Lilongwe said the project is positively helping a number of households in the country.

“We now understand the need of being responsible parents more than ever,” said Sajiwa.

Lilongwe MAGGA district commissioner Ida Mlenga said the project is “bringing positive results since a number of families are giving testimonies on how their families have been transformed.”

MAGGA is implementing the Safeguarding Girls and Young Women from Drug and Alcohol Use and Other Related Harm project in 172 schools in Lilongwe district with financial and technical support from FORUT [campaign for development and solidarity].

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