Get Up Speak Out! (GUSO)
Get Up Speak Out! (GUSO)
Our youth club decided to be different
Chigwirizano youth club in Malawi has its community at heart; it engages in a number of activities that benefits the community the youth club members live in. Started up with support from Aidsfonds through Coalition of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (COWLHA), the youth club soon became self-sufficient and independent. “Projects that directly target young people are very rare.”
A vegetable garden supports SRHR advocacy
“The club has a vegetable garden which we run as a commercial business”, tells Brenda Zambezi, a youth volunteer and member of Chigwirizano youth club. “We sell vegetables and the profits are used to support our activities”.
They have been able to organize community meetings that attract community leaders like chiefs. It is through these meetings that the youth club use to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. It encourages school drop-outs due to school fees to go back to school by paying school fees. Furthermore it partners with COHWLA in disseminating SRHR and HIV information and education in their community. A village savings and loan group was established after a business training conducted by COWLHA. Members can save and lend money to start small businesses.
An independent youth club
“We devised this financial model”, says Brenda Zambezi. “This way we make sure the club is independent and can carry on with activities regardless of the projects it is affiliated to.”
“COWLHA among other organisations that partner with youth clubs to provide capacity building workshops and trainings, and provide material and financial support. When projects phase out, the youth clubs remain with information, knowledge and skills but lack financial capacity to carry on with the activities they had been doing. Our youth club decided to be different,” continues Brenda.
She concludes: “Projects that directly targets young people are very rare and we are grateful to Aidsfonds through COWLHA for giving us such an opportunity that promotes our healthy life”.
About Get Up Speak Out programme
This youth club has been established under the Get Up Speak out for Youth Rights programme, that strengthened civil society organisations to effectively improve young people’s poor sexual and reproductive health and rights. In Malawi Aidsfonds worked together with Coalition of Women living with HIV/AIDS.