Muslim Sisters AIDS Network Association (MUSANET) has started conducting youth counselling workshops in different parts of Malawi.
Musanet general secretary sister Mariam Khan told Malawi Muslim Official Website on Thursday that they started workshops a year ago and about 200 girls around Blantyre have already benefited.
“We started these Youth Counselling Workshops last year with about 200 girls around Blantyre, we thought it is important to empower them with HIV&AIDS knowledge because the Youth are lacking information on HIV & AIDS basics,” said sister Khan.
According to sister Khan workshops are aimed at different angles including reminding the youth the importance of education, importance of upholding Islamic identities and other important issues.
“During these workshops we dont talk about AIDS only but we also remind them about the importance of Education,The Importance of upholding Islamic identities, and they also tell us their challenges they face as Muslim Youth in General.just to mention a few,” she said.
The GS further said they also decided of conducting the workshops inorder to seal the gap that was there between youth and elders so that they should be working together with elders as the future architects.
“The other reason we conduct these workshops is to seal the gap between the Muslim Youth and the elders so that they should look at us as friends and not as rivals. We want them to be part of us as they are the future Leaders of tomorrow, and if we don’t empower them with information on the danger of HIV then we are killing our future Leaders,” she added.
The program which is funded by MAI Aisha Trust, under the theme “PROMOTION OF SELF ESTEEM AND ABSTEINANCE AMONG THE YOUTH.” has been of importance as sister Khan explains:
“Musanet has achieved alot in changing the mind set of Our Youth, because it has been difficult for their parents to tell them about HIV/AIDS but with these Workshops MUSANET is able to break the Silence among the Youth. Infact MUSANET strongly advises the Youth to abstain until the time ripes for them.
“Some of the achiement is that the Youth are able to spread what has been learnt to their various areas, hence in future we can have an AIDS free Muslim Ummah and our target groups are Muslim girls and boys of over 14 years of age.”
In the past Musanet targeted girls only and last week they were in Nchalo, this Sunday the 24th of October there will be in Zomba at ZODEC(Abarakah Charity Trust) and this year’s wrap up will be on Sunday, the 31st at Albarakah Kameza, Blantyre, according to the secretary.
in their previous trainings sister Khan says her organisation was “puzzled” to see out of 100 youth, only one brother had a bit knowledge about HIV/AIDS background which shows that there is a lot of work to do.
“We are far behind behind time. Musanet was puzzled last week to find that our Youth in Nchalo do not even have an idea of HIV & AIDS background, how it started when it started, can you imagine out of 100 participants only one brother had a bit of knowledge. So you can imagine how behind we are, there is alot of work to be done.
Musanet is planning to conduct more of these workshops in other areas next year, according to sister Khan.