Written by  Noel Chimwala- Mana

Amref Health Africa Malawi has introduced Dance4Change in its Champion4Life initiative to enhance provision of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) services in Traditional Authorities Bwananyambi and Makanjira in Mangochi.

Tolani - The approach will songs and dances to disseminate SRHR information Pic. By Noel Chimwala -Mana Tolani - The approach will songs and dances to disseminate SRHR information Pic. By Noel Chimwala -Mana

Amref Head of Planning and Performance Monitoring, Madalitso Tolani, disclosed this on Friday at a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting adding that the approach meant to reduce teenage pregnancies and early marriages in the two areas in Mangochi.

Tolani said the project is the repetition of Champion4Life approaches the organisation first implemented in Traditional Authority Lulanga in a Stand-Up Adolescent Project which, according to him, was a success.

“Dance4Change project objective is to empower young people through use of dances and music to disseminate information about SRHR targeting 15-19-year-old boys and girls,” explained Tolani.

“Through the songs and dances, we expect adolescent girls and young women to gain knowledge, skills and attitudes about healthy sexual behaviour, control over their own bodies and make informed marriage choices,” he added.

Tolani further said the Dance4Change approach will include development of jingles, sports tournaments, SRHR dialogue sessions, youths engagement meetings, distribution of Information Education and Communication materials, stakeholders orientations and meetings.

Dance4Change, a Netherlands based approach, is being funded by Comic Relief and will run for 18 months, according to Tolani.

Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Chair for Mangochi, Joseph Makwakwa, hailed the initiative saying there was need to implement active initiatives among the youth in Bwananyambi and Makanjira areas as the two areas have highest rates of teenage pregnancies and early marriages in the district.

“These strategies will help reduce problems such as limited access to education, limited access to attractive employment, domestic violence, early pregnancies and unhealthy outcomes associated with childbearing," explained Makwakwa.

Amref Health Africa Malawi has been implementing a project called Stand-Up Adolescent in Lulanga, Mangochi for five years with funds from Amref Flying Doctors.

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