Youth Movement for Development (YOMODE), a Joyce Banda Foundation International (JBFI) youth development initiative, on Friday organized a day-long HIV/AIDS Training of Trainers Workshop for its leaders drawn from across the country.
The workshop took place at YOMODE’s Headquarters in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre.
National Director for YOMODE, Wyson Sumaili, told the leaders that JBFI founder and former president of Malawi directed that the workshop be conducted to raise awareness among YOMODE leaders about the HIV/AIDS scourge so that they, in turn, impart the knowledge gained to their respective committees when they go back.
“As you are aware, the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to cause havoc on the citizenry, especially among the youth. While Government and other organizations are working tirelessly to fight the scourge, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda thinks more efforts need to be put in this fight.
“It’s not over until it’s over hence this Training of Trainers Workshop. She is optimistic that with enhanced civic education especially among the sexually active age groups, the fight will be won,” said Sumaili.
The main facilitator at the workshop, Lyness Soko, told participants that HIV/AIDS is largely transmitted through unsafe sex and that it is imperative that the use of condoms is extremely encouraged.
“The surest way of avoiding HIV, the virus that causes Aids, is to abstain from sexual behavior. But where you cannot abstain, it is advisable to use a condom,” said Soko.
She said in Malawi, 10.6 percent of people in the age group of between 15 and 49 are HIV positive. Among these, the prevalence rate in women is 12.8 percent, while men are at 8.1 percent.
Soko explained that among the factors that lead to HIV/Aids prevalence rate being higher in women than men is the “power imbalance” at the domestic level where “men always have their way”. She said women “fail to negotiate safe sex”.
“It is often difficult for a woman to suggest to her husband to use a condom, but women will always oblige if it is the man,” she said.
Soko told participants to encourage their respective peers to deal with this “power imbalance challenge as a matter of urgency”.
She also said that another problem exacerbating the HIV/Aids scourge in Malawi is what she called “transactional sex”. What it means, she said, is that because of the alarming poverty levels, women give away their bodies in exchange for money and employment.
In his closing remarks, Sumaili said YOMODE would continue to work directly with young people to help them grow as individuals and leaders. He said, the organization, formed in 2010, continues to grow in stature as more youths are joining courtesy of its youth-driven development and empowerment objectives.
Participants were drawn from Chitipa, Chileka in Blantyre, Zomba, Mzimba, Nkhata Bay, Salima, Ntcheu, Mwanza, Neno, Balaka, Machinga, Chikwawa, Thyolo, Mulanje, Chirimba and Soche in Blantyre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :