On 18th July 2023, YONECO Field Officer for Ntchisi conducted awareness sessions to the Village Natural Resources Management Committee members (VNRMC) in Kamtande village, under Traditional Authority Chikho. The focus of these sessions encompassed a range of critical topics, including climate change, the importance of youth and women inclusion in community development, human rights, and the pressing issue of gender-based violence (GBV). 

During the sessions, the VNRMCS members were provided with comprehensive information about the impact of climate change on their community and the significance of sustainable environmental management. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the importance of actively involving the youth and women in decision-making processes within the VNRMCS. By encouraging youth inclusion, the aim was to empower young individuals with knowledge and opportunities for meaningful participation in community development, bridging the gap created by the historical neglect of women and youth in such decision-making roles. 

Addressing the pressing issue of gender-based violence (GBV), the sessions delved into the various aspects of this problem and its detrimental effects on individuals and the community as a whole. The VNRMCS members were enlightened on how to identify and address instances of GBV within their community. 

As a proactive measure, helpline toll-free numbers were provided to the participants, urging them to report any incidents of GBV or related issues occurring in the area. This move aimed to create a safe and supportive environment for victims while promoting accountability for perpetrators. 

In total, the sessions successfully reached 25 VNRMCS members, with 11 of them being females and 14 males. The significant presence of female members demonstrates a positive step towards gender representation within the committee. 

By disseminating crucial information on climate change, youth and women inclusion, human rights, and GBV, YONECO’s efforts fostered greater awareness and understanding among the VNRMCS members. The empowerment of the youth and women within the committee holds the promise of enriching community development initiatives through diverse perspectives and innovative solutions. Furthermore, addressing the issue of GBV is a critical step towards creating a safer and more supportive community for all its members. 


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