The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 1st April 2015 rolled out a national advocacy campaign with Airtel and the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) to protect and promote the rights of adolescent girls in Malawi.
The campaign, which features the Malawi netball team, popularly known as the Queens, aims to provide role models and inspirational messages to young girls in both English and the local language, Chichewa.
The Malawi Queens are currently the fifth best netball team in the world and number one in Africa.
Through a series of visuals, the campaign seeks to encourage girls to speak out against violence, delay marriage and complete their education.
Girls in Malawi face multiple challenges, such as barriers to good health, a decent education and participation in decision-making. Only 34% of girls in Malawi finish primary school, and 1 in 5 girls are victims of sexual abuse before they turn eighteen. These girls need special support from society as they grow up, to make them competent leaders of tomorrow.
Airtel Malawi’s Managing Director Heiko Schlittke speaking about the rollout said: “Airtel’s support to the advocacy campaign is part of our ongoing partnership with UNICEF Malawi.
“As partners in development we have a role to play to ensure that Malawian children, especially adolescent girls achieve their full potential. We are happy to see the campaign kick-off. We therefore pledge our support to this important cause.”
UNICEF Malawi Representative Mahimbo Mdoe said: “UNICEF is excited to launch this campaign aimed at protecting and promoting the rights of adolescent girls in the country. There can be no greater unrealised potential than that of young women who are often pregnant or married before they’ve had a chance to complete their education. With the communications support of Airtel, and the inspiring stories of the Queens, I am optimistic that girls in Malawi can shine”.
The campaign will be rolled in Malawi via billboards and on social media throughout the course of the year.