Churches want youths to understand sexual and reproductive health issues


Churches in Malawi say it is important that they should continue being involved in teaching youth about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) so that young people should get the right messages on the issue.

Since Tuesday,  the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) has been holding a National Youth symposium at Mponela in Dowa. The symposium which ends today has drawn together youths from across the country under the N’zatonse project

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Father Gerald Bwemba of Dedza Diocese said churches need to continue being  involved  to make sure that the youth understand issues of SRHR.

Rev. Mkandawire

“If we leave the youth alone, they may get wrong messages which are contradictory to what the church teaches,” said Bwemba.

He also urged young people to utilize the knowledge that they have received from the project.

EAM General Secretary Rev. Francis Mkandawire said they organised the meeting to showcase the activities that have been implemented under the N’zatonse Project and interface with young people who are the beneficiaries of the project which is being implemented by various churches.

Mkandawire said the project has seen the church engaging on issues of SRHR which are issues that young people struggle with.

‘[Through the project] the young people are being empowered with knowledge on issues of sexuality, the importance of abstinence, Godly values and the need to respect others.

“The youths are also being empowered to be independent  since many youths indulging in issues of sex because of poverty,” said Mkandawire.

One of the young persons at the meeting, Alinafe Makonda from Thyolo, said there has been noticeable behavioral change in youth since the project  started as the youths have been armed with knowledge.


“In our area, the youths now know what to do to  prevent pregnancy, they also know that they can also get tested HIV. Through N’zatonse being implemented in our area by Blantyre Synod, we are also being advised that sex before marriage  is a sin,” Makonda said.

N’zatonse is a project which started in 2014 and is expected to end in 2023. Norwegian Church Aid and Danish Church Aid (NCA/DCA) joint programme has invested 10.3 million Euros into the project.

Bemnet Olango who represented the donors at the event said they are very much satisfied with what has been achieved so far under the project and they intend to grow the project’s impact.

He urged the church leaders, government officials and the youths to make sure that the gains made under the project are sustained for longer period.