YONECO in fight against GBV, HIV/AIDS among youths


Youth Network and Counseling (YONECO) has embarked on a journey to address Gender Violence (GBV) that young women face in their communities which has led to the increase of HIV/AIDS cases.

Executive Director for YONECO, McBain Mkandawire, said that they have trained 60 people that were drawn from various sectors such as Police, Social Welfare, and Community Youth Leaders as activists of social change in their communities.

He added that they are using a model known as ‘SASA-together ‘to respond to issues of GBV and HIV/AIDS by training community facilitators and activists to engage the community members on how challenges of social norms affect HIV/AIDS and GBV in the communities.

“We are dealing with adolescents and young people in our project called Connect Plus -Action. The idea is to increase access to Sexual Reproductive issues, HIV and AIDS information, treatment, and many more. However, we noted that intimate partner violence does affect the uptake of these services.

“We want to address the uptake by engaging the community to support the young girls and women to manage intimate partner violence so that by the end of the day, we manage HIV and AIDS as well as GBV,” he explained.

On her part, one of the participants, Tapiwa Matinga said that the training is very crucial considering that some of the facilitators work with adolescents, who sometimes make wrong decisions, as such being one of the people who has been equipped with skills can tell that they will assist the young people a lot on issues to do with GBV and HIV/AIDS.

Tapiwa Matinga-Participant

Matinga however encouraged her fellow participants to make use of the information and knowledge they have gained from the training to ensure that youths are protected at any cost.

The training took place at four different venues namely Kawale , Kang’oma, Lilongwe Primary School, and Area 18.

YONECO is implementing the Connect Malawi Plus -Action for Adolescents Girls and Young Women Project targeting communities surrounding Area 18, Bwaila, Kang’oma, and Kawale health facilities in Lilongwe.

The organization is receiving financial support from ViiV Healthcare -Positive Action in the UK for the implementation of the three-year project till 2025.