New behaviour change group for restoration of young people’s lives in Lilongwe

Hope Counseling and Resource Center, a social interaction and behaviour change organization based in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, is helping to reshape young people aged between 10 and 24, restoring hope for a better future in their lives.

Youth quipped with skills to make informed decision.

According to Board Chairperson Pilira Ndaferankhande, this age group is most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, crime, drug and alcohol abuse.

Almost 250 young people have so far benefited from the organisation’s social interaction sessions.

Hope Counseling and Resource Center works with adult professionals such as nurses, pastors and social workers who voluntarily impart their knowledge about life to the youths to inspire transformational and responsible growth in them.

Participants are also sensitised on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, good behaviour, sexual reproductive health and hygiene and reporting defilement and sexual abuse.

“30% of the youths we deal with have confessed that they are using alcohol and drugs. They even steal money from their parents or guardians just to buy these substances,” explained Ndaferankhande.

She continued, “Sometimes we take the social interaction sessions to churches, market places and locations looking for the youths especially those with a single parent. Most of these feel they are not loved and find solace in drugs, alcohol and committing crimes”.

Ndaferankhande said her organization is making significant progress, saying more parents are now releasing their children and even asking for more social interaction sessions.

She disclosed that the next sessions will focus on effects of pornography and mustarbation.

“Half of these youths have smart phones and have confessed to us that they watch pornography. Some of them are actually addicted to it and it is incumbent upon us to put them back on the right track,” said Ndaferankhande.

The Hope Counseling and Resource Center Board Chairperson said she has a passion for the welfare of the youths and hopes that this is what will sustain her organization even though it is currently not receiving any funding.

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