Pretoria, 22 June 2023 – The Embassy of France, Kick4Life, Tackle & Umunthu Foundation are collaborating in Malawi and Lesotho on a project called ‘Play 4 SRHR’ to rollout sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) awareness and services to young people, and educate about the prevention of gender-based violence. The youth will be equipped with essential life skills including self-confidence and resilience, to assist them in making long-term improvements to their health and well-being and to properly exercise their rights fully.
In Malawi and Lesotho, girls and women face high levels of gender inequality and significant barriers to their full participation in society. The situation is worsened by a lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, including HIV prevention and basic health education. In Malawi, there is a prevalence for early unintended pregnancy with an average of 80,000 girls and teenagers under the age of 18 become pregnant every year.
Under the umbrella of ‘Play 4 SRHR’, Kick4Life will roll out the project ‘Girls United’ in Lesotho, which is co-created and delivered by young women who play for the Kick4Life Women’s football team, and who have themselves progressed through Kick4Life’s community programmes. The project is already implemented in Maseru and will be expanded to Berea district, targeting girls and young women aged 15 – 21 years old. The project aims to engage 250 girls and young women as well as 250 boys and young men of the same age, through mixed-gender tournaments.
In Malawi, Tackle & Umunthu Foundation will lead activities aimed at driving demand for HIV & Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services by adolescent and young people in Mulanje district, in the Southern Region. The project will train young peer educators, both male and female, to deliver SRHR and HIV education and services to adolescent and young people in their communities. This project will support them to be a powerful positive force, creating sustainable change in their communities while promoting SRHR.
The Embassy of France’s cooperation with Malawi and Lesotho aims at mainstreaming the promotion of gender equality, and aligns with the priorities of both countries. This project tackles key issues at the intersection of education, gender equality and health, which are priority areas of France’s solidarity development policy and the fight against global inequalities. The project confirms the Embassy’s commitment to carrying out a feminist and sports diplomacy, and translates France’s international strategy in terms of gender equality and SRHR, particularly within the framework of Generation Equality.