Day 13 of 16 Days of Activism

The fight against, gender based violence and violence against women and girls is said to be hindered because of lack of coordination among various stakeholders championing the fight against the vice.

This has been disclosed at a 16 Days of Activism commemoration awareness campaign Bwalo La Ana Youth Active Community Organisation BLAYACO organized in Blantyre.

During the awareness campaign, BLAYACO engaged with Health and security personnels who are said to be one of the key stakeholders in the fight against the vice.

According to BLAYACO – police as security providers have a huge role to play in the fight against GBV as they are custodians of the law.

Meanwhile police
through Sub inspector Mohamed Kulisinje of Chirimba Police said the victim support unit is an ideal place issues of gender based violence are dealt with henceforth victims should always seek help from these spotlights.

Meanwhile from the Chirimba health centre, Shaibu Makunganya a Health official asked victims of gender based violence to be seeking medical attention and should always be keen in reporting such issues.

According to Makunganya most victims fail to open up in detail every ordeal they pass through in as far as GBV is concerned.

He said currently health facilities can assist victims of GBV even before showing a police report.

Previously, health facilities could not ussher medical services to a person who has a condition thought to be from or of a violent crime.

Hospitals in Malawi only helped a person who have a medical report, meanwhile the case is now different as the health department has new laws in place which allows health personals to assist a victim even before presenting a medical report.

Some posters with caption choonde ulurani nkhanza translation please report violence

According to an Afrobarometer Publications
AD576: Malawians see gender-based violence as a top priority – and a criminal matter
Citizens overwhelmingly say a man is “never justified” in using physical force against his wife.
Joseph J. Chunga and Raphael Nedi 24 Nov 2022 Malawi
Download (English)
Key findings

Malawi is party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and has a set of laws and policies aimed at fighting gender-based violence (GBV), including the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the Gender Equality Act, the National Gender Policy, and the National Action Plan to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Malawi 2014-2020 (Ahmed, Changole, & Wangamati, 2021; Government of Malawi, 2014; Government of Malawi, 2015 ).

Yet one-third of Malawian women have experienced physical violence since age 15, one- fifth have suffered sexual violence, and 42% of women aged 20-24 were married before age 18 (UNICEF Malawi, 2020; UN Women, 2022; Melnikas, Mulauzi, Mkandawire, & Amin, 2021). The minister of Gender, Community Development, and Social Welfare has repeatedly called for action against GBV (Gausi, 2022; Sabola, 2021), and on assuming the presidency, Lazarus Chakwera announced plans to seek stiffer penalties against those found guilty of committing GBV and to require that human rights be taught in school (Masina, 2020).

This dispatch reports on a special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9 (2021/2022) questionnaire to explore Africans’ experiences and perceptions of gender-based violence.

Some of the Chirimba residence that patronized the event.


The theme for this year is focusing on Unity as a cornerstone towards the fight against the vice.

As one way of complementing governments efforts in the work of eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls, Bwalo La Ana Youth Active Community Organisation BLAYACO sets to remind the masses about the evils of GBV.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness of violence against women.

It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.

Meanwhile, this day also marks the start of the observation of 16 days of Activision against gender based violence (GBV).

As an Organisation BLAYACO will join activist from across the world who are calling for an end in all forms of gender based violence.

This years campaign is being commemorated under the theme Unite! Activism to end violence Against Women in solidarity with international community in the fight to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

As an organization that acknowledges the impact and effects of GVB, BLAYACO has previously collaborated with other Organisations in the work of curbing the vice, some of them including Art & Global Health Center Africa and Hlanganisa Institute for Development in Sourthen Africa.



Parents a Remedy to Ending Child Marriages and Violence Against Women and Girls

Bwalo La Ana Youth Active Community Organisation has embarked on adult literacy capacity trainings whose aim is curbing early marriages and violence against women and girls in the country.

The development is an activity under the implementation stage of the MAWA project which BLAYACO is working hand in hand with Art and Global Health Centre.

Recently, BLAYACO members engaged parents within their catchment area which under Group Village Head man (GVH) Mussa Magasa in Blantyre Kabula constituency.

Speaking during the training, Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation Officer for Blayaco Oddetta Emma Da Santos expressed gratitude over the response coming from the partcipating parents in the aftermath of the training.

She said, since rolling the implementation stage of the project, the response has been overwhelming and promising.

Blayaco used participatory art approaches in trying to create a platform to help sensitise the participating parents on their roles and responsibilities and enhance behavior change regarding cultural values.

Some of the participatory art activities included story telling, drama and use of visual cards which gave parents room to reflect and highlight roles parents have in issues related with child marriages and violence against women and girls.

At the end of this meeting, parents agreed to continue learning from the minutes that were discussed as they proved to be helpful ideas which will help shape the right direction of their children.

Participants during drama session.
Drama session
Blayaco members during the interactive session
Participants pose for a group photo after activities




Blayaco Pens Youths as an Essential Ingredient in Ending VAWG with the Incorporation of Participatory Art.

Blayaco in collaboration with Art and Global Health Africa are in the implementation process of the Mawa project which seeks to eradicate VAWG.

The project which is being conducted in Chirimba under Group Village Headman Magasa has thus far engaged Mother groups, Youth Clubs and Parents within the catchment area.

The aim of the project is to see to it that violence against Women and Girls is curbed – starting from household level and then spread all over.

According to Oddette Emma Da – Santos who is the Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation Officer for Blayaco, the project is slowly developing and growing team working spirit which is essential in ending all sorts of violence.

She said with the incorporation of art activities such as Drama(Forum Theater), Music and Drawing, they have a great and portentous impact in the fight against the vice.

Some of the Participatory Art Outcomes after the meeting. Drama

All the participatory art approaches used proved to be useful and participants were excited and eager to engage in the activities. Says Da-Santos

On her part one the participants, commended the use of forum theatre which they say has enabled facilitators to observe the insights of participants on child development and early child marriage problems, and allowed us to empathise with how they solve these problems.

They also allowed the participants by opening up a scenario of understanding of how each group (i.e., parents and youth) viewed problems within the family and how they would expect such problems to be solved.

Participants pose for a group photo after the meeting.


Curbing violence against women and girls VAWG using art.

BLAYACO hopeful of enhancing the capacity of Mother groups, and Youth structures within the Organisations catchment area and further – on early child marriage and violence against women and girls.

BLAYACO team used various approaches aimed at instilling capacity in the participants with hopes of curbing the vice.

The Organisation used various approaches including engaging with the participating members existing knowledge through complementary participatory art approaches to be used in carrying out their work.

The following is a pectorial presentation of the entire session.

BLAYACO Executive Director Sam Kamanga making a presentation.
Music and dance with mother groups during the capacity building (training) session.
Music and dance with various participating mother groups
drama session – art
youth club member making a presentation
Representatives of mother groups presenting on women rights and child rights.
Mother group representative, answering a questionnaire
BLAYACO representative Catherine doing individual training session using questionnaires
Mother groups Representatives answering questions on the questionnaire
Youth club representative making a presentation on forms of violence against women and girls
Mother group interactive drama session
BLAYACO representative Oddette da Santos making a presentation
Youths Representative at the session.


Bwalo La Ana Active Youth Community Organisation (BLAYACO) with support from Art & Global Health Center Africa through the Make Art For Women Activism (MAWA) project, is implementing a project which seeks to eradicate early child marriages and Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Chirimba, Chemusa and Mbayani, Blantyre Urban.

On the 17 of July 2022, BLAYACO held an inception meeting at chirimba primary school. The purpose of the meeting was to appraise, gain support, and align work for a participatory discussion on the roles and required contribution of all stakeholders with a focus on community ownership and sustainability of activities.

The project which can be considered as in it’s pilot phase targets Chirimba, Mbayani and Chemusa under Group Village Head Magasa (GVH.

The meeting drawed various stakeholders including but not limited to, Chiefs, Police Officers, DYO, Health Workers, School Committees, Mother Groups, Representatives from Youth Networks and Strategic key Implementing Partners.
It is evident, from the activities that were conducted and feedbacks that early marriages and VAWG are on the rise in our respective communities. Hence, stakeholders have been tasked for urgent community response aimed at addressing the vice.

Participants creating a banner to be used in safe space which consist of art, drawing and writing.

According to BLAYACO management, the projects meeting was meant to enlighten the various stakeholders on their roles in the fight against VAWG and early marriages in the society.

The project which is still in the implementation stage, seeks to sensitize the community on child rights, to empower girls aged 14-17 in income generating activities, and to increase demand for SRHR services among the youth using art partcipatory approaches.

BLAYACO members standing behind a finished banner.

But what did the participants draw from the meeting?

According to the feedback from one of the participants Juliet Gwaza, Chirimba Primary School Committee Representative,  says there is need for the project to target and engage more stakeholders who usually are involved in the making of cultural and or religious norms that fuel child marriages and VAWG.

Gwaza – stressing a point during the meeting

Gwaza also pointed out the need for empowering victims of the mentioned vice economically, socially and physiologically.

Thus on her part, Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation Officer for BLAYACO Oddette Ema Do-Santos hinted on the need for statutory institutions such as the National Economic Empowerment Fund NEEF to take the loans even in the typical settings for gilrs and women to have access to the loans.

Da-Santos making her presentation

Da-Santos said, it is sad to note that we have skilled youth’s and women who lack financial support to unearth their skills, but was quick to point the objectives of this project which among others seeks to empower the less privileged and marginalized women and girls.

On recommendations from BLAYACO, Kamanga said there is a need to scale up efforts in adressing the bottleneckes crippling gender equality through more intervations aimed at adressing VAWG and child Marriages in our respective communities.

Stakeholders in a participatory art activity through dancing and singing
stakeholders pose for a group photo.