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STRONG COMMUNITY STRUCTURES IN ZOMBA: SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR VULNERABLE FOR TEEN MOTHERS AND YOUTHS

YOPOC Malawi

Social capital promotes cooperation, collaboration, and coordination, and thereby has a variety of micro and macro level outcomes that are beneficial to economies. For this reason, Youth for Positive Change (YOPOC) has been establishing community structures in Zomba in order to fight against HIV/AIDS and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the socioeconomic situation of vulnerable women, children and youths. Therefore, functional community structures in the area of HIV/AIDS and socioeconomic empowerment in Zomba are promoting cooperation, collaboration and coordination.

 

YOPOC’s HIV/AIDS programme is promoting use of social capital so that vulnerable teen mothers and youths can pool resources together and tap from each other’s knowledge and benefits from each other’s capacity in generating income for the betterment of their lives. The programme was launched in 2016 with funding from the Mercury Phoenix Trust by establishing 5 HIV/AIDS clubs at Kachulu, along Lake Chilwa in Zomba district. These clubs promote HIV infection amongst young sex workers and young fishermen. Members of the clubs were trained as peer educators and were equipped with life skills so that they should be able to provide their friends and members of the community with information on HIV/AIDS prevention and services.

 

YOPOC, with funding from World Connect, has also facilitated the establishment of new HIV/AIDS Support Groups and strengthened weak existing ones so that teen mothers living with HIV/AIDS can encourage each to live positively. The first project provided trainings to members of 4 HIV/AIDs in nutrition and psychosocial support as well as ART treatment. However, with lack of resources that can enable the teen mothers and young sex workers to practice what they have learnt, World Connect has expressed interest to support the HIV/AIDS support groups in establishing business enterprises.This was expressed by Pamela Nathenson, the Executive Director of World Connect, during her visit to YOPOC’s project site in Zomba, Malawi.


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