Life Concern Organisation has taken HIV and AIDS fight to the youths urging them to refrain from engaging in immoral behaviours that would lead them to contracting HIV, a virus that causes AIDS.
In a country ravaged by poverty and economic malaise, many youths find themselves jobless and with no hope and purpose for their lives. Starved of entertainment and other meaningful activities to embark on, the youths especially those in rural areas indulge in excessive beer drinking.
Life Concern Organisation however, recognizes that fighting HIV and AIDS is critical in wiping out the pandemic in the country, more so when youths are part and parcel on decision making and implementation of various HIV and AIDS programmes. 60% of Malawi’s population compromises of youths.Through sporting activities LICO wants to keep youths busy so that they do not indulge themselves in immoral activities such as substance and drug abuse. It is through these sporting activities that the organization also spread messages of abstinence, condom use and HIV testing. In Malawi, sports as a vehicle for communication and outreach has potential to pull youths of all walks together such that it makes it easier for organizations to reach out to them with sexual and reproductive health messages. Through the Protect the Goal Campaign, LICO reached out to thousands of youths with HIV AND AIDS messages and services. During tournaments over 2000 youths collected condoms, 284 went for HIV test, 38 registered for voluntary male circumcision, over 50 girls registered for cervical cancer screening. It was seen that during sporting activities youths were very free to seek sexual reproductive services as these services were brought to within their reach and administered by their peers.
(Mr. Nyirenda, Journalist)