NEWS | N.G.O
By Lonjezo Idrissa
Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) has urged communities in Zomba and Mulanje Districts to use its National Helpline Services to anonymously report suspected cases of illicit drug trade and use, and gender based violence among children and women in the country.
The call was made during roadshow awareness campaigns YONECO conducted in the two districts recently.
According to Beatrice Chingwalu, presenter and producer for YONECO FM, most Malawians are suffering in silence as they have no clue on how and where to report such cases.
“There is need for enough information to raise awareness on where people can report issues of gender based violence and other abuses, apart from relying on the police alone,” said she.
Concurring with Chingwalu, one of the recipients of the services, Justin Matuka, from Milala village in Zomba, YONECO’s initiative will greatly impact on Malawians, especially the marginalised.
“Incidences of gender based violence, drug and substance abuse are on the rise because of fear of reporting suspects to police. This drive will therefore assist communities to be report drug dealers and gender based violence perpetrators to relevant authorities,” he said.
Currently, YONECO runs three national helplines; for Drug and Substance issues, 6600, for GBV Crisis Line is 5600, and Child Helpline is 116.
During the shows, YONECO used renowned local musicians, Jay Jay Cee, and Slyce to mobilize the communities.