Machinga, Action Hope Malawi has equipped sex workers in Machinga with knowledge and skills on how they can prevent themselves from contracting Coronavirus as they ply their work in the district.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Thursday, Action Hope Malawi Program Manager, Happy Kachanzi Mthulula, said her organization selected 30 leaders of sex workers from Nselema, Ntaja, Liwonde and Mposato to undergo the training.
She said Action Hope Malawi, with funding from Mac Aid through Aids Fondet Denmark, wants sex workers to become trainer of trainers to their colleagues.
“Sex workers were also motivated to have alternative plan especially now that business is slow due to the pandemic. We want them to train their fellow sex workers on Covid-19 preventive measures and how to invest and save the little they make during the pandemic,” she said.
Participants were oriented on how to establish a village saving and loan group and small scale businesses. They were also trained on how they can handle and report Gender Based Violence (GBV) to authorities.
“During the course of implementing HIV and AIDS prevention among key population, it was discovered that there is a gap in Covid-19 prevention. Therefore, Action Hope Malawi through Aids Fondet Denmark applied for funding to tackle Covid-19 interventions among sex workers,” she said.
The training, which forms part of the implementation of a three year HIV prevention project targeting key population such as sex workers, had facilitators drawn from relevant government offices such as Community Development, Health and the Police.
The project worth K55 million intends to orient 30 sex workers from 10 hotspot areas in each district.
Action Hope Malawi has plans to train male champions together with sex workers so that both can help to disseminate Covid-19, anti-GBV and economic empowerment messages.