• +265 1 526 199
  • director@yoneco.org.mw

Author Archive

Malawi to Launch an Online Child Abuse Reporting Portal

YONECO hosted a multi-stakeholder meeting on launching an Online Child Abuse Portal for Malawi which will open doors to confidential and anonymous reporting on online child imagery abuse.

In his remarks, the Executive Director for YONECO, MacBain Mkandawire, commended various stakeholders who attended a roundtable meeting for their positive input towards addressing the challenges that are there. He further thanked the Malawi Governement through the Ministry of Gender and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority for providing the necessary guidance and policy direction.

“It has become clear that we have laws that protect children from cyberbullying but we are not fully utilizing them. Having this portal will further help all stakeholders to get involved in operationalizing such laws and protect children from online imagery abuse” said Mkandawire.

Speaking on behalf of the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW); Justin Hamela stated that the ministry is aware and concerned with the magnitude of online violence which is being perpetrated against children in Malawi.

“We the reporting portal as soon as yesterday and that the ministry would like to urge all partners involved to speed up the process of launching the portal,” said Hamela- Chief Gender Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.

The portal which is hosted by Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) will protect Malawian children from being abused online as well as protecting them from being exposed to inappropriate images on the internet.

International Development Manager for ITW, Jenny Thornton, expressed her satisfaction with the energy and fruitful discussions which partners had in the meeting and urged all partners to maintain the momentum.

Among other stakeholders, the meeting was attended by representatives from Unicef, World Vision International, Save the Children, CISE, TNM and Havoc Aids.

Lemani Makina

YONECO Executive Director Calls on Staff to be Diligent and Selfless

The Executive Director for YONECO, Mac Bain Mkandawire, has urged Tithandizane Helpline Service officers to be diligent and selfless in discharging their duties as many people in the country have trust and confidence in them.

Mkandawire stated that the Tithandizane Helpline Service has become a household name in the country because of its insistence on results and professionalism in handling various cases.

Mkandawire made these remarks when he was officially closing an orientation session for new members of staff who have joined the institution as Tithandizane Helpline Field Officers.

In response to the growing demand for the services of YONECO’s Helpline facility, the institution has taken on board a total of 22 new Field Officers who will be working on various components of the Helpline Service Centre. The Tithandizane Helpline Service was established in 2006 before it was transformed by the Malawi government to become a national service.

Currently, the Tithandizane Helpline Service has a GBV Crisis Toll free Line, a Drug and Substance Abuse Hotline as well as the initial Child Helpline. All these are toll-free and operate 24 hours every day.

In its operations, the Helpline Facility which has its call centre in Zomba within YONECO’s Youth Leadership Development Complex acts as an alternative reporting mechanism for abuse and violence against women and children, a referral agent, source of information as well as providing other support services like Safe Places for victimized women and children in the country.

Lemani Makina

YONECO Distributes 15 Bicycles to YCBDAs in Mangochi.

YONECO distributed a total of 15 bicycles to Youth Community Based Distribution Agents (YCBDAs) in the areas of Traditional Authority Mponda and Nankumba in Mangochi district.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, District Youth Friendly Health Service (YFHS) Coordinator, Chisomo Petros, applauded YONECO for the support. Petros said this will greatly contribute towards ensuring that young people who live far from health service delivery points are able to access various Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services within their vicinities.

“Provision of services is very key in ensuring that young people are able to prevent various SRH challenges like unintended pregnancies as well as reducing the prevalence rate of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
This gesture will greatly contribute towards reducing various SRH challenges which young people, especially those who live in rural areas and hard to reach areas face” said the YFHS Coordinator.

One of the recipients from T/A Nankumba, Luis Gama, thanked YONECO for the bicycles. In his remarks, Gama said the bicycles will enable them to reach out to many young people in his area.

“Our concern was on how we can easily reach out to young people with the services because of mobility challenges that are there. On behalf of all young people from Nankumba, I would like to thank YONECO for the support and ask other NGOs to emulate this good example,” said Gama.

The bicycles were distributed after the 15 recipients were trained on provision of SRH services. The training was conducted with technical support from the Reproductive Health Unit (RHU) of the Ministry of Health. In his remarks, the National Coordinator for Reproductive Health Services in Malawi, Hans Katengeza, urged the YCBDAs to properly take care of bicycles and to make sure that they are reaching out to as many young people as possible.

HIV and STI prevalence rate among young people in Malawi is shockingly high. This is attributed to a number of factors and among the key challenges is lack of access to SRHR services due to long distances. Thus, YCBDAs come in to close the gap by providing some SRH Services to young people within their localities.

The bicycles were distributed with support from Simavi- Netherlands through Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) Programme which YONECO and its partners in the Malawi Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Alliance is implementing in Chikwawa and Mangochi districts. Other partners in the Alliance are; Family Planning Association of Malawi (FPAM) Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (COWLHA), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE) and Centre for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children (CAVWOC).

Lemani Makina