By Carolyn Chidandale
YWCA of Malawi together with 15 other YWCA member associations of Africa is currently working under the State of African Woman (SOAW) campaign. The SOAW campaign aims to contribute to securing, realizing and extending women’s rights as enshrined in African Union policies in sub – Saharan Africa.
The Campaign focuses on strengthening the civil society’s contribution to promote the implementation of the AU protocol on the Rights of Women ( Maputo Protocol) and the Maputo plan of Action (MPOA) at four decision – Making levels across sub – Saharan Africa; continental,regional, national and sub- national.
This unique coalition of youth – serving organisations, faith based organisations, feminist groups and sexual Reproductive Health and Rights ( SRHR) activists will work towards the implementation of the State of African Women across Africa.
A training was organised to be held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 28th and the 29th of September, 2017 where two youth champions from all 16 YWCA member associations attended and they were all accompanied by one National general secretaries from their respective association.
The objectives of the training were;
- To train youth advocacy champions on advocacy and leadership.
- Orientation of young people on the Maputo protocol,plan of action and African Union Summit process and entry points for advocacy as well as influencing opportunity through national structures to improve their health and wellbeing.
- Deepen the regional advocacy skills among young women and girls especially on key issues such as SRHR, Female genital Mutilation and Ending Child Marriage
- Develop key advocacy messages for engagement with policy makers on the critical issues as contribution to the gender and demographic divided, with visibility of advocacy through strategic partnerships and communications including social media with other CSO Youth networks.
- To enhance the knowledge of the youth on the adolescent health, SRHR commitment in agenda 2063, and the link to Maputo protocol and Plan of action.
Youth Champions from different countries at the training
Malawian youth champions representatives Josophine Chikwana and Carolyn Chidandale
The training was successfully done and all youth champions went home empowered with advocacy skills and currently all champions are working in their respective countries to bring in change.