Representatives from 14 technical colleges across the country have learnt participatory arts techniques to end gender based violence in their colleges.

The three-day workshop took place at the Malawi Institute of Management in Lilongwe.

“This was an immersive engagement with the instructors, students and principals from TEVET colleges. It’s part 1 of a 3-part human centered design method for them to design a comprehensive program for their individual institutions to fight against gender based violence,” said Lekodi Magombo, Programmes Officer with ArtGlo.

He said the first workshop focuses on the technical knowledge about gender based violence (GBV) and how to use the human centred design approach to develop appropriate and effectives responses to create safe learning environments that do not permit violence .

“After the training, each participant is then responsible to conduct research at their institution which will help shape the GBV prevention programme.  This will result in a campaign and activities that is sensitive to the needs on the ground,” he said.

In Malawi, GBV presents a very real barrier to young women and girls who wish to pursue greater opportunities. While one of the options for young people to pursue education is at Technical, Entrepreneurial, and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) colleges, girls represent only 27 percent of enrolled students.

Recent reports show that one of the reasons for the high drop-out rate and lack of interest in TEVET colleges is the extent of violence that is particularly targeted at the female trainees.

STEP’s partner ArtGlo recently won the Sustainable Development Goal Action Award in the creative category for their Make Art / Stop AIDS: Youth Project, at the SDG Global Festival of Action.  ArtGlo will use similar techniques to support colleges to develop context specific approaches to end GBV on their campus.

The programme is supported through the Skills and Technical Education Program (STEP), an initiative partially implemented by UNESCO with funding from the European Union (EU).