Sex workers from Chirimba, Ndirande and Lunzu townships in Blantyre have called on government and other stakeholders to rescue them from challenges that are threatening their livelihood.
This was said in Lunzu on Friday at the end of a three-day HIV peer educators training workshop facilitated by People’s Federation for National Peace and Development (PFNPD) with support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar).
The sex workers called on organisations and other relevant authorities to support them through different initiatives, saying most of them are tired of living on prostitution.
One of the sex workers, who pleaded for anonymity, said most men usually cheat them on payments.
She said: “I have been doing this from 1999 until now, but I feel that it is time I explored other opportunities of making money because of the challenges we have been facing like men forcing us to engage in the act without protection, giving us less money contrary to our agreements and so on.”
PFNPD executive director Edward Chaka said they will pass on what they gathered during the training to appropriate stakeholders so that the welfare of the sex workers is not compromised.
“A lot has transpired during this meeting. Apart from some of the problems, most of them have said they need money to start small-scale businesses.
“Some have also asked for things like chiponde, cooking oil and soya flour so that they can use it in preparing meals to strengthen their bodies after taking antiretroviral drugs,” he said.