Protect grant support to enable me resume work

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Skapad av:
Maria Malata
Samlar in till:
Civil Rights Defenders' Emergency Fund

Protect grant support to enable me resume work


I am a human rights defender in our organisation responsible for the Thyolo district, southern part of Malawi. In our district I am responsible for the social and cultural rights, the need to have this special branch of rights defender and have its fully based field facilitator emerged due to the increasing cases of the sexual abuse among adolescent girls in our district in 2018. For more refer to the link below ; https://malawi24.com/2020/02/15/concern-over-rise-in-sexual-abuse-cases-in-thyolo/. As human rights defending organisation we took steps to advocate, engage all the stakeholders and put in place the measures to defend the rights of women and girls. However, the work has been characterized by intimidations, threats, assaults and harassment.

The issues of the violation of the rights of young girls resurfaced this year after the closure of the schools when the traditional leaders and cultural initiation ceremonies leaders have been wanted to take advantages of unanticipated holiday to force young girls into initiation ceremonies which compromises their right to dignity, right to healthy and right to education among others. To my surprise since the national task force on education announced the tentative date to re-open schools https://www.google.com/amp/s/times.mw/task-force-w... the pleasure to send girls to initiation ceremonies has increased. Unexpectedly when the alarm was raised that the chiefs and the cultural initiators have agreed to force the young girls to initiation ceremonies I went in the following day to advocate and re-engage the community leaders in which surprisingly I was confronted, threatened, harassed and promised to be dealt with should I continue what I am doing in this community.

I am a member of the youth organisation called, Youth Acting Together (YATO) which its main organizational mission is to empower vulnerable girls in order to end early marriages, unplanned pregnancies, prevent gender based violence and eliminate gender inequality.

So far based on our mission our organisation has successfully achieved the following.

Implemented an advocacy human rights campaign on protecting and promoting rights of young women and girls from sexual abuse funded by the pollination project from USA calliforniahttps://thepollinationproject.org/grants-awarded/norah-soko-protecting-girls-and-women-from-sexual-abuse-at-lake-chilwa/.
With support from Alert Fund for Youth from Netherlands grants, YATO established a Violence Against Girls and Women Formal Complaint and Response One-Stop-Centre that receives and documents complaints of violence against girls and women; refers girls and women for care and support; and carry out follow ups reported violence against girls and women at women social department, police station (Police Victim Support Unit) and the court to ensure that girls and women receive the help they need. The One-Stop-Centre is working with Girls and Women Protection Committees which are at village level.

Therefore, I am writing to you to seek for protection grant so that I can resume my human rights work on the ground by fighting for the rights of marginalized girls for them to return to school. Funds requested will be used to enable me to seek for temporary relocation, hire for security bodyguards to accompany me when going back to the field to work, and hire for taxi car to reduce vulnerability of being attacked when using public transport.

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