A total of 30 youths from different communities across Phalombe district have been trained in advocacy on matters which affect their day to day lives including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
The three day training which started on Monday and ended on Wednesday this week was organised by Phalombe Youth Arms Organisation (PYAO) under a project called strengthening increased funding towards provision of method mix and improving access to family planning methods among adolescent girls and young women.
In his remarks, the District’s Health Officer (DHO), Ketwin Kondowe, advised the participants to take the training seriously as he promised that his office is planning to be having weekend clinics to be offering SRHR services in different communities.
“The problem we are having currently is lack of space in our facilities and you know as a country we have to invest in you that’s why my office is planning to be having weekend clinics in the communities for SRHR,” said Kondowe.
He added by reminding the participants that they should be engaging officers responsible for sexual and reproductive health and be discussing what the youths want.
District Youth Officer for Phalombe, Ian Sukali, commended PYAO for the training saying many youths will have voices in communities where these trained youth champions are coming from as issues to do with youth seem to be on rise in the district.
On his part, Executive Director for PYAO, Vincent Thom, said they thought of training the youths considering that in most communities in the district there are no youths who can stand for their fellow youths to what is right for their future.
“You know youths are suffering in silence, we needed to have people who can speak for voiceless’ and that is why we organised this youth champion’s training so that we should impart them with knowledge on how they can do the advocacy on different matters such as SRHR.
“We expect them to develop work plans which will help them on how they will be doing their activities and it’s our hope that things will now change,” said Thom.
One of the trained youth champion, Bridget Mkhamula, who hails from Nazombe Youth Network said the United Nations Foundation’s funded training has imparted her with new knowledge related to SRHR and advocacy.
“This training has helped me a lot as I have learnt a lot of things which I will tell my fellow youths on what we can do to curb different problems we are facing such as lack of knowledge on contraceptives as now I know where to go to address such problems,” Mkhamula said.