Blantyre-based non-governmental organization, Nancholi Youth Organization (Nayo) has intensified a drive to ensure young girls are given a platform to speak out on issues affecting them from attaining education and has since called for support from well-wishers.
The organization is also ensuring that challenges the girls face within their communities are addressed by courting various stakeholders through a Girls-Talk initiative which aims at creating a society which is conducive and in harmony with achievement of a girl child education.
Girls Talk is an initiative that was established in 2016 whose aim is to address issues that affect girls, aged between 12 to 18 years, in their day to day lives both in schools and communities.
“These issues are physical, mental, psychological and social in nature and they have been contributing towards low girls’ enrollment in schools, absenteeism, poor class performance, school dropout, and early pregnancies and marriages among others,” explained George Nedi Projects Coordinator.
“We want to improve the livelihood of girls through attainment of basic education in partnership with stakeholders, community leaders, and other affinity groups that promote the standards of living of a Girl Child.”
Through the initiative, the organization is using various forums including the media to give girls platform to talk about some of the issues that negatively contribute to their poor participation on issues of national development.
Some of the issues include education, sexual and reproductive health, HIV/Aids, water and sanitation, gender mainstreaming, gender based violence, climate change, food and nutrition among others.
Aside from using the media the organization is using other strategies to address the highlighted issues such as community mobilization and sensitization, capacity building, partnering with existing structures, lobbying and advocacy.
“Our strategy is to allow girls speak out on issues affecting them, and we connect them to any well-wisher who expressed interest to assist. There are several challenges such as lack of sanitary pads, uniforms, books among others which we feel people including companies can come in to assist,” he added.
“Our objective is to empower communities to be self reliant in developing sustainable strategies that allows a girl child to stay in school. To bring awareness to communities on issues affecting the girl child in attaining basic education and to lobby from relevant authorities for adequate allocation of Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM) including good infrastructure.”
So far Nancholi Youth Organization has managed to court several individuals to support underprivileged girls in Blantyre rural particularly at Mandimu primary school which is facing a lot of challenges to provide quality education to pupils, and is focusing on indentifying more support for other schools and pupils facing similar challenges.
“We are therefore appealing to individuals, companies and other organizations to come in and assist these girls attain education and become responsible citizens of our country. Our mode of operation is to link directly those interested to assist with identified beneficiaries to ensure there is transparent and accountability.”