By Vincent Bwinga (Justice and Peace)
The Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Karonga has, on 16th September, 2019, received a grant to implement two Tithetse Nkhanza Violence Against Women and Girls projects known as Actions to Transform Social Norms and Support for VAWG Survivors in Karonga District.
Speaking during post award meeting in Lilongwe, Tithetse Nkhanza Team Leader Grace Mawera has confirmed that the Justice and Peace Desk along four other partners have been granted the 2 projects to implement as pilot projects for three years and six months with an opportunity for a further three-year extension.
Commenting on the implementation of the projects, Mawera says the first three-year period is for learning and adaptation and therefore requested all partners to document and demonstrate evidence in the implementation; propose best practices to the program and ensure transparency and accountability in managing finances for the project.
On issues of safeguarding the rights of beneficiaries, the Team Leader urged all organization staff members to avoid sexual advances towards beneficiaries.
“The projects will be in contact with school girls, boys and women. Therefore, we need to do no harm to any beneficiary. We need to be survivor centered in carrying out our activities,” she said.
Actions to Transform Social Norms Project focuses on reduction of prevalence of violence against women and girls and progress towards the full realization of women and children’s human rights. The project is being implemented using Champion of Change Model in seven identified primary schools and one secondary school in the area of Traditional Authority Kilupula.
On this model, the project engages adolescent girls and boys in schools and their communities to promote positive changes in gender attitudes and behaviours. It creates healthy relationships among adolescents through single-sex safe spaces for boys and for girls separately. There are also single-sex safe spaces for parents. Further, the model promotes engagement and dialogue between various stakeholders.
Support for VAWG Survivors Project aims at improving support for VAWG survivors to access justice and related support services. The project is being implemented in following T/As; Kyungu, Wasambo, Kilupula and Mwakaboko using Survivor Support Fund Strategy.
Karonga Women Forum is a lead structure at district level directly providing financial support to help survivors access services required to address the issues at hand. Karonga Women’s Forum will popularize SSF and network with trained accompaniers at T/A level.
Tithetse Nkhanza is a six-year program funded by Department for International Development (DfID) through the consortium of Coffey International, which is the lead organization, Plan Malawi and SS Direct.