Friday, June 13, 2008

Strengthen rights and gender-based initiatives for civil society groups

Four civil society groups conducted open days campaigns to advocate for gender and HIV/AIDS rights, the rights for the elderly and disabled, women and children alike.

During these open day campaigns, drama groups and dance troupes where involved in dissemination of information on rights and HIV/AIDS in addition to speeches that were made by high powered delegations from relevant public and private entities.

In attendance to one of the functions was the Principle Secretary for Ministry of men and women with disabilities.
In total, 11,000 people attended the open days of which 68% were women and children. This means that the message and pieces of information that were disseminated to the participants fell on the fertile ground as the target group dominated in attendance.

In one of the functions that were conducted by OWACO, 4 wheelchairs and 20 pairs of crutches were donated to 24 disabled people of whom 18 are women.

In a bid to establish and strengthen links between the civil society groups and the public as well as private entity,
Government ministries of women and children affairs, ministry of the disabled, ministry of health and HIV/AIDS, Society of people living with AIDS, NAC, as well as district assemblies were invited to take parting the campaigns. Representing the government ministries and departments and private sectors were District Commissioners, principle Secretaries and heads of departments and private sector CEOs.

These open days were conducted by Four organisations namely; CAPLA (Care for People Living with AIDS), Orphans and Widows Awarenes and Care Organisation (OWACO), Health Initiative for All (HIFA) and MIRACLE organization. These organisations have their registration certificates with the registrar general of the Malawi Government, a constitution, and a three - five years strategic plan.
Author: Themba Phiri

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