Mzondwase Mwanza

75 Public Votes Reached!
Mzondwase Mwanza - 2017 Nominee
Position: Programme Officer
Organization: Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE)
Current Location: Malawi, Africa.
Degree in Social Sciences(Political Leadership) from The Catholic University of Malawi
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming in the Political and Economic arenas
    Awarding Organization:
    Organisation For Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA)
    Date Awarded:
    April 18, 2014
  • Award:
    Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibilty
    Awarding Organization:
    Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
    Date Awarded:
    June 29, 2016
She has been successfully working with young girls building their capacity to demand and access youth friendly SRHR services from hard to reach areas where harmful cultural practices for young people's access to family planning servicesis an issue. – Lucky Crown Mbewe, Executive Director at Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (CYECE)
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As a programs officer for the project which aims to improve access to SRHR services among young people specifically girls and young women, I have been able to engage critical local policy makers on creating a conducive legal and policy environment to promote access to such services. It is usually not easy and common for a young person a girl for that matter to stand before such high profile figures to engage them on the need to promote family planning services for young people regardless of their status. I also managed to establish structures at community level for which are a stepping stone towards gaining support as well as provision of SRHR and above all for sustainability of our programmes. We also managed to lobby traditional leaders to speak about access to family planning services.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

As a young girl who has been brought up in rural communities, I have seen how culture and religion played a role in discriminating young people especially adolescent girls to access quality family planning and other SRHR services in Malawi. This made me to develop a strong passion to work with my fellow young people on advocacy for accessible and youth friendly Family Planning and SRHR services within their communities without fear or favour by virtue of their circumstances.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I have been able to organize community dialogues meetings targeting traditional and religious leaders, Health Service Providers, parents, teachers and young people to discuss the need for promoting access to family planning and SRHR services among the youth. Secondly, I have been facilitating establishment of youth clubs and also training young people as Family Planning Advocates and Champions to continue with awareness raising and distribution of family planning and other SRHR services.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I suggest that I will use part of this grant to train Health Service Providers on the concept of Rights Based Approach to family planning and SRHR. This will help to address the deep-rooted harmful cultural practices which affect access to such services. Furthermore, I will use part of the grant to mobilize and distribute family planning and other SRHR services among the most marginalized communities who can not afford to travel long distances to access such services.

Video Introduction
Photos of the nominee in the field/at work
This was a launch of a Project called Yes I do.The project is targeting young people of ages 15 - 24. The main aim of this project is to ensure that adolescent girls and boys enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights and achieve their full potential, free from all forms of child marriage, teenage pregnancy and female genital mutilation.After the launch,I took a pictures with some Program officers and youth club members that I work with in the area., Having a discussion with the youth on the challenges they face in their communities that hinder them for accessing SRHR services. Some of the challenges include :long distance to the clinics, negative attitudes by health service providers among others , Addressing chiefs and the youth at open day. The aim of the open day was to talk about the importance of the youth accessing SRHR services. Since it was a hard to reach area, we engaged health service providers to provide services such as Voluntary testing and counseling, condoms and norplant.

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