Nathenje Pastors Fraternal, a body of ministers from different denominations, has taken gender-based violence (GBV) head on by engaging communities in Senior Chief Kalumbu in Lilongwe.
On Saturday the group held a community sensitisation campaign on GBV and trafficking in persons with different stakeholders to broaden the reach of their sermon.
“We use our church services to sensitise the people to these issues, but we know that not all people are churchgoers. So, we are training other stakeholders like chiefs, some NGOs, teachers and market leaders so that they can be using whatever opportunity to create awareness,” said the Pastors fraternal chairperson the Reverend Boniface Milanzi.
He said the group was born after seeing that the area was chocked with different forms of violence against women and children, especially girls, and that many abuses were going unreported.
Senior Chief Kalumbu said most GBV cases revolve around early pregnancies, forced marriages, child labour, domestic violence and trafficking in persons.
“We have worked so hard to eliminate these malpractices, but the challenge is understanding of issues because of poor educational background. Many people are resistant to change, but with organisations such as the pastors body, we are making progress, “ he said.
Nathenje Police officer-in-charge Thandiwe Mwalwenje said the number of GBV cases reported has increased which she said is a sign that people are now aware of the issue.
The campaign is funded by Norwegian Church Aid through the Evangelical Association of Malawi. n