You are here

Reachwell Nyirenda, a 21 year old champion for gender equality in Kapiri Mposhi District, eagerly stands in front of his male peers to facilitate a discussion around the role on men and boys towards addressing violence against women and girls at community level.

“Through the Safeguard Young People (SYP) supported by UNFPA and the Swiss Development Corporation, many men and boys have been empowerd with knowledge and skills to make better choices concerning their sexual and reproductive health; and how they can make a positive impact in their communities. We have also noticed more men and boys  opening up about their own experiences of gender based violence and are willing to seek counselling and support through the network.” says Reachwell, who is also the vice chairperson of the mens network in Kapiri Mposhi.

The mens network highlighted how the SYP programme uses innovative approaches to achieve better sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents and young people. This has included facilitating availability of tailored spaces for men and boys, where they are free to address issues that are unique to their needs.

With over 38 members, the Kapiri Mposhi mens network meet twice every week on Mondays and Thursdays. During the meetings, the members are empowered with knowledge around various topics on sexual and reproductive health, using interactive and participatory processes.

"In addition to weekly discussion sessions, the mens network also undertakes community sensitization and outreach programmes in various locations within the catchment area of the health facility. By doing so, we are able to reach put to other men and boys to share the information we have. So far, these have yieled great reasults, as many communities have seen more and more men and boys supporting challenging some of the negative social norms that promote gender inequality" says Reachwell.