Stakeholders take stock of N’zatonse : Sexual,reproductive health and rights project

Stakeholders will gather in Lilongwe from Wednesday (25th October 2017) to take stock of the ACT Alliance N’zatonse Project, a sexual and reproductive health and rights project by the Malawi government in partnership with the German government through the German Development Bank (KfW).

Gumbho: We want to take stock of the achievements of the project

Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi is expected to open the three-day dissemination and best practices conference whose theme is: ‘Breaking the Silence; Faith Communities taking Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights among youth’.

DanChurch Aid (DCA) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Programme Officer Beatrice Gumboh said in an interview yesterday that all preparations for the conference have been finalized.

“We want to take stock of the achievements of the project for the past four years and share experiences and challenges that we have faced when implementing this project,” said Gumboh.

She said in 2013, the Malawi Government partnered with the German government through the German Development Bank (KfW) to implement Nzatonse.

The project is aimed at improving knowledge and acceptance of modern family planning methods and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights using rights-based and gender-sensitive approaches among rural women and youths.

The ACT Alliance (DanChurchAid and Norwegian Church Aid) collaborated with faith-based institutions to create demand for SRH services for youth by addressing religious and social cultural barriers for youth access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“There will be various activities including exhibitions and presentations from various implementing partners of the project and SRHR experts including the challenges or obstacles that youths face in addressing SRHR issues in religious institutions and communities,” said Gumboh.

She explained that the N’zatonse project is implemented through a consortium, which consists of Population Services International (PSI), Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) and Pact Malawi. ACT Alliance is expected to finish its implementation in February 2018.

Gumboh said the project, is implemented in 10 districts namely Blantyre, Mwanza, Neno, Thyolo, Machinga, Ntcheu, Ntchisi, Mzimba, Rumphi and Likoma.

“So far we are happy that the project has managed to break the silence especially in religious and faith institutions when it comes to SRHR issues among youth. Faith institutions have taken bold steps to improve the lives of youth in Malawi. People are now talking about these things,” said Gumboh.

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