UNICEF in collaboration with Parent and Child Health Initiative – Trust (PACHI) is supporting the government of Malawi in accelerating efforts towards elimination of violence against women and girls including Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Harmful Practices (HP) in an initiative called “Spotlight.” The initiative intends to provide an opportunity to scale up and strengthen the implementation of ongoing initiatives to eliminate SGBV and HP as well as to promote Sexual Reproductive Health Rights

In support of this initiative, PACHI is implementing a programme called “Education and Adolescent Integrated Communication for Development for an initial period of six months.  Among the pillars that Spotlight intends to achieve, PACHI is implementing pillar number three “The Prevention and Social Norms”. This programme aims at raising adolescent awareness on GBV, HIV/AIDS, health related issues as well as adolescent nutrition including IFA supplementation and other iron rich foods.

The project is facilitated by PACHI together with district structures namely District Social Mobilization Committee (DSMC), Gender Technical Working Group (GTWG), District Education Network (DEN), School and Community structures namely Mother Groups (MG), School Management Committees (SMC), Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Child Protection Workers (CPWs). Education and Integrated Communication for Development Programme is targeting (10-19 years) in and out adolescents who are sometimes victimized due to lack of knowledge on how they can voice out GBV of any form plus lack of other social amities that affects their livelihoods.

Social Accountability platforms called Ifenso will be used to engage adolescents and provide an opportunity for them to discuss matters that directly and indirectly involve their livelihood, their future and take appropriate action. Ifenso is more focused on engaging adolescents on promoting transparency, accountability, good governance on adolescent health in communities from which they belong. Adolescents (in and out of school) will be reached through partnership with school and community based structures.

Nationally, the project is being implemented in six districts of Malawi; Nsanje, Machinga, Nkhatabay, Mzimba, Ntchisi and Dowa reaching out to 215 primary schools, 18 secondary schools and 21 youth clubs where a total of 62924 adolescents have been engaged so far.