Having a role model compels an individual to do and achieve more in life. However, many girls across Malawi especially those who live in rural and remote parts of the country lack people they can admire and look up to as role models.

This prevents them from setting and pursuing goals in their lives. It is against this background that YONECO oriented 18 ladies in Mchinji district who have achieved and attained their goals on how best they can inspire and motivate young girls in the district.

The role models were imparted with knowledge on how they can motivate young girls, support case management, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) counselling and child protection skills. One of the facilitators, Nthandose Nkhandwe of Mchinji District Health Office, urged the role models to be open on SRHR issues which are key in girl child education.

“Role models are very paramount when it comes to SRHR issues because most parents tend to avoid such topics. This leaves the girls in an awkward position and they end up making uninformed decisions,” said Nkhandwe.

The 18 were further taken through case management process which includes case detection, referral and follow up among other things. The role models were also tasked with the role of raising awareness about the rights of children and to be exemplary if they are to inspire young girls in their designated communities. During the session, role models also shared some milestones they achieved in empowering girls.

“The rate of child marriages has gone down compared to the previous years and with the knowledge we have gained from this training, I am positively sure that we will reach out to more girls out there,” said Clara Mdzenje one of the role models.

The role models were drawn from various fields including teaching, accounting, and nursing among others. Currently, the group is expected to execute their roles based on a three-months action plan which they developed after the training.

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