Malawi NGO Yoneco trains youths in sexual and reproductive health

Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco), a local non – governmental organization has said it is important to make youth friendly health services available and accessible to young people to enable them contribute towards the country’s development.

Yoneco Programme Officer in Mangochi, Edison Chikoko made the remarks on Monday at Boma Zone Teachers Development Centre in the district during opening of a three – day long training for 25 youths drawn from the area of T/As Chimwala, Katuli and Mponda.

Chikoko observed that training of youths as peer educators in sexual and reproductive is important because it empowers them to build self esteem thereby stimulating them to take up challenging roles in society thereby contributing to national development.

“Research has shown that empowerment of young people in most activities including health related is critical as it prepares them to take influential positions necessary to help grow the country’s economy since they build self esteem,” Chikoko said.

Youth learning on Yoneco training
Youth learning on Yoneco training

He said it imperative to recognize the role that the youth could play particularly as peer educator on sexual reproductive in the present as opposed to the future, noting that their involvement in initial stages of life would give them confidence as equally being productive.

Chikoko added that the organization provides comprehensive sexuality education to the youths considering that it relates to safe motherhood which has some negative effects if not properly followed by the group (youths).

“We attempt to give the issue of sexual education its due attention by putting things at their disposal so that they make informed choices,” he said.

The programme officer expressed optimism that the training would go a long way in reducing challenges facing the health sector as a result of complications from sexually transmitted infections and early pregnancies.

One of the participants to the training, Aaron Kanyama thanked Yoneco for the role it was playing especially in empowering the youth in various social and economic activities. He said the training was beneficial to the youths pledging to take the message across the entire district.

Kanyama encouraged his fellow youths to work hard in their studies and avoid engaging in behaviours which predispose them to early pregnancies and marriages. He said the two would also increase one’s risk of contracting HIV and Aids

The training under a five – year project called Unite for Body Rights, ‘my choice, my future,’ funded by the Dutch Government tackled such topics like HIV and Aids, sexual and reproductive health,  growth and development and life skills.

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