Richard Mwanjasi

Richard Mwanjasi - 2019 Nominee
Position: Executive Director
Organization: Hope for Relief Malawi
Current Location: Afirca, Malawi
Master Degree in Sustainable Rural Development from Catholic University of Malawi
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelors Degree majoring in Demography. University of Malawi, Chancellor College.
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Golden Egg
    Awarding Organization:
    Date Awarded:
    July 27, 2018
Through Hope for Relief, Richard Mwanjasi advocated for provision of family planning services in 5 secondary schools in Rumphi District, in Malawi. This resulted into 2763 adolescents having access to family planning services in 5 schools in 2018. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As the Founder and Executive Director since 2013, I have been working with my fellow adolescents and youths, young prisoners, disable and rural poor vulnerable girls in the northern Malawi in advancing their rights to access family planning services. I have increased access and utilization of contraceptives for 5,000 youths in Malawi. I have engaged the Minister of Education, Education Managers, Minister of Health, Health Officers on rights of youths to access contraceptives, facilitated the development of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the 5 health facilities and 5 community day secondary schools in Rumphi District on provision of contraceptives in secondary schools, conduct meetings with the health parliamentarian committee, District Health Officials and Ministries of Health.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Family Planning Policies have been initiated while most of the key stakeholders are not aware of these and its implementation has never been monitored. Youths are restricted to access condoms in health facilities in Rumphi District due to cultural reservations. They sometimes stand on the same line with elders to access their SRHR services in the health facilities. At Rumphi District Main Hospital, only 21 youth aged 15-24 accessed condoms in 2018 out of 2579 youth. Have no money to buy it.

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

I have engaged the key stakeholders in reviewing the family planning policy, secondary school curriculum to include contraceptives to be accessible to students, in budget tracking and monitoring. I have initiated 5 friendly youth corners in the 5 health centres where the trained youth peer educators are able to welcome their peer, offer family planning services and direct them properly to access the 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? :

1. Facilitate development of Memorandum of Understanding between 7 health facilities and 7 community day secondary schools in Rumphi District on provision of contraceptives in secondary schools, bi-monthly family planning mobile clinics to secondary schools. Health Centre Advisory Committee will be empowered to monitor the implementation of the MoU as a sustainability measure.
2. Produce 4 media pitches on challenges that youth face in accessing contraceptive and air it out calling for change.

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