In order to impart sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS knowledge messages amongst the adolescents, Life Concern Organization (LICO) through support from GIZ volunteers has facilitated the formation of teen clubs in Bolero – Rumphi.
Girls in primary schools, particularly those in standard 5 to 8, meet in their respective clubs discussing issues affecting the adolescent group. Furthermore, the girls discuss problems they face, behavioural change and HIV prevention.
LICO takes a leading role in teaching the girls in the teen clubs about adolescence and career guidance. The organization also brings in role models like nurses and lady police officers and other female achievers in an effort to motivate the girls to work hard in school.
Overseer of the teen clubs Ngeniwe Mkandawire says through the clubs, girls are accorded the best platform where they freely air out their problems and share knowledge about their sexuality.
“So far we have teen clubs at Bolero and Barwe Primary Schools; but our aim is to reach out to as many girls as possible in other primary schools,” says Mkandawire.
“We understand that behavioural change is a process so we need to teach our girls while they are still young. In addition, it is during the adolescent stage that girls experience changes in their bodies so we have to reach them with relevant messages as quickly as possible so that they are aware of the things surrounding their lives.”
One of the things that encourage HIV/AIDS transmission in the community is the culture of silence which prevents open discussions on one’s sexuality. The formation of teen clubs is a step ahead towards breaking the retrogressive culture of silence. It is thus important to support the LICO initiative to save girls in the communities.