The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) with support from Tearfund Switzerland
implemented an HIV/AIDS project called “Response to AIDS by churches with hope” (REACH) in Traditional Authority Mwanza in Salima district. The project purpose was/is:
||to reduce new HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
||to improve the quality of life of people living with or affected by HIV (PLHIV) through provision of knowledge and skills on HIV and income generating activities.
||to build the capacity of churches to deliver HIV/AIDS services in churches and communities.
The results of this three year project are encouraging despite all challenges and setbacks. It had huge impact on the lives of many Malawians.
Mauline Madula (left), Felester Khobe (right), Joseph Kambalam (EAM tutor)
Mauline Madula and Felester Khobe - Prepared for life
It’s a Wednesday afternoon at Michulu primary school in Traditional Authority Mwanza (Salima district). Pupils have knocked off and left for their homes. However, there are few pupils who are still hanging around. They are some of approximately 70 members of the Michulu Life Skills Club that meets on the school campus to share different issues that concern youths and help them to fully understand some of the topics taught in class. They also engage in different physical exercises that help them dealing with negative thoughts.
For Mauline Madula the club has helped her to stop bad behaviour such as stealing and absconding classes: “Before this club started, I was one of the rude and troublesome pupils at this school. When pupils were attending morning assembly, I used to steal food and pens. As if that is not enough, I rarely attended classes. While classes were in progress, I was usually playing with other troublesome pupils.”
Her friend, the 15 year old Felester Khobe adds that the club has helped her to approach school differently and to develop a vision for her future. “When I joined the Life Skills Club, I was taught the importance of having a role model in life. So I searched for a role model and found one in Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati. I want to be like her,” says Felester.
The club’s tutor, Joseph Kambalame, says, “We know that there are some youths who don’t go to school. Therefore, the club members reach out to those youths and sensitise them on the importance of having good behaviour in society for them to be responsible citizens. This strategy has benefited a lot of youths as they have now adopted good behaviours. Furthermore, others have gone back to school after the school-going youths enlightened them on the importance of education in one’s life.”