As a contribution in the area of gender, NfYD works with women and girl through an approach called Young Women Can Do It (YWCDI), it is an approach that strengthens both the protective environment for women and girls, gives space to young women to voice out against harmful cultural practices, provides them with the ability to stand up and be heard in order to improve their well-being and fulfill their rights.
YWCDI is a means by which participants organize themselves to learn about the issues and take action as well.
YWCDI is becoming one of the premier local/community gender advocacy movements in Malawi which focuses more on rural women. It is a growing grassroots feminist youth movement with a long-term vision for women in Malawi. Men who usually suppress women in different ways are also part of the club in other areas where they only play a supportive role and women are the key players in terms of managing the affairs of the club. Men supporting women sounds strange in many communities and through this, the perception of gender is slowly changing, seeing a young woman being a leader where men are just mare member’s looks awkward but it has worked, activities that the clubs have conducted with leadership of young women have proved to be a success. The clubs were established to empower young women across the country and recruit them to the struggle for gender equality and fight for recognition in their community. YWCDI members are all volunteers.
YWCDI empowers young women from different communities for personal and social transformation. Furthermore, inspires young women (girls) to have the voice, ability and problem solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers, create visionary change and realize their full potential within their communities.
Through NfYD, girls develop the voice, ability and problem solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers, create visionary change and realize their full potential within their communities.
We seek to address the very heart of issues confronting young women and those that affect their wellbeing – increasing confidence in their own voice and convictions, developing life-skills, and improving the ability to identify paths and resources within their communities that can contribute to positive change and break cycles for a lifetime.
We envision communities where women with strong voices become active leaders and passionately engaged citizens, impacting not only their own communities but also their entire country as young women become informed and participating citizens in their civic, political and cultural communities. By connecting them with adult women trained to serve as volunteer coaches, young women develop trusted relationships with powerful role models for civic engagement while women become strong advocates for young women and their communities and end for cultural activities or traditions that affect the wellbeing of women in the society.
The main objectives of the YWCDI Club include the following:
1. To increase the participation of young people at all levels
2. To build the capacity of the youth to effectively respond to challenges they face in their own communities
3. To empower school going youth as ambassadors and role models to their peers
4. To increase girls enrolment in schools
5. To reduces incidences of domestic violence and sexual harassment among girls by creating awareness
6. To promote environmental activities among the youth
7. To facilitate for protection of youth’s rights and responsibilities
8. To act as a role model and increase and introduce participatory channels for young people
9. To elevate the self-esteem and self confidence among youth by instilling positive values and developing their talents
YWCDI uses its core values in decision making and daily operations. Volunteers of the organization are also trained to use the core values when representing YWCDI. YWCDI is also regarded as a social change organization that supports and empowers young women in fully developing their voice, ability, and problem solving capacity to realize their full potential.
1. YWCDI values young women as a powerful and unique resource in communities and organizations
2. YWCDI values women leaders in their own right
3. YWCDI values being intentionally innovative, risk taking and visionary to make broad and lasting impact.
4. YWCDI values people being in a place of self-fullness in order to create change. People are the organization’s most valuable asset.
5. YWCDI values result oriented activities
6. YWCDI values direct and honest communication to ensure authenticity in the creation of social change
7. YWCDI values the diversity of all women and girls and believes diverse and unlikely relationships are personally transformative and key elements to creating social change.
YWCDI provides the tools and resources in terms of partnerships and support the young women’s need to gain the voice, ability, and problem-solving capacity to realize their full potential. We welcome and serve all young women and focus our efforts on young women who live in rural areas of Malawi.
NfYD through its project officers’ conduct periodic visits to each club where among other things they mobilize executive members of the club and all members, they meet to identify an issue or problem that they want to impact within their community. The Project officers train members of the club about gender, culture and traditions that are harmful to the wellbeing of women, in addition, they provide some essential project planning and execution skills to aid them in designing and implementing their social change activities.
Through this, young women learn how to tackle community problems such as gender based violence, low self-esteem, and environmental degradation or climate change. Imagine the possibilities if every community in each year young women learn how to tackle community problems on their own and fight the injustices and increase their voice on issues that affect their lives. Picture the huge number of powerful women leaders driving local communities and the Malawi toward success and well-being.