CCJP builds capacity of stakeholders in GBV prevention

In a bid to enhance community response to issues of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the SVTP-GBV Service Provider, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Chikwawa Diocese, engaged different stakeholders at local and district levels in Chikwawa.  

The Service Provider engaged community Police Fora in four Traditional Areas Maseya, Ndakwera, Kasisi and Katunga in Chikwawa. These meetings were aimed at strengthening community policing structures in SVTP-1 host communities as part of GBV prevention. The engagements were conducted in coordination with the Police, Gender and Social Welfare offices, and saw over 140 Community Policing members being capacitated in GBV prevention in their respective communities.  

Speaking during one of the engagements, District Community Policing Coordinator for Chikwawa Rodney Mvuthe urged the community police to be committed to safeguarding the welfare of the people. He stated that the district Police largely depend on community policing structures for information. 

โ€œWe expect community policing structures to be conducting surveillance, investigations, and to report cases to the nearest police station. Always remember that your number one role is to prevent crime or GBV from happening therefore always participate in raising awareness on GBV,โ€ Mvuthe said.

The Service Provider also held three engagement meetings with Group Village Heads in the areas of Traditional Authorities Ndakwera, Katunga and Maseya amidst the influx of people to the three areas following the construction of three campsites for Sinohydro.  The meetings provided an opportunity for CCJP to sensitize opinion leaders on GBV and provoked a discussion on how GBV risks can be minimized. GBV Champions were also engaged in different communities on issues of prevention.

Engagement with traditional leaders
Meeting with traditional leaders

CCJP Project Coordinator Lewis Msiyadungu is quite optimistic that enhanced coordination between chiefs and community policing structures would help prevent the occurrence of GBV-related cases within the SVTP-1 impact area.

โ€œWe are involving chiefs as key opinion leaders that can play a significant role in intensifying sensitization and community GBV case management. There are structures such as GBV champions and Community Policing that the chiefs can coordinate with in conducting surveillance, investigations and case referrals to relevant district authorities. These structures are critical for reducing GBV-related risks, especially in the SVTP impact area,โ€ he said.  

Msiyadungu implored chiefs to follow the referral pathway when handling criminal cases.  

โ€œCases of defilement and sexual abuse are not within the jurisdiction of chiefs. Any occurrences of such should be reported immediately to relevant district authorities like the Police,โ€ he added.

One of the chiefs present during the engagement, Senior Group Singano concurred with the Service Provider over the need to improve the coordination of stakeholders. He urged the Service Provider to strengthen coordination between the chiefs and authorities from the construction company for ease of problem-solving when the need arises.

In the bid to improve GBV case management in Chikwawa District, the CCJP revamped the One-Stop Centre which is a centre point for GBV survivors to receive assistance from service providers. The service providers include the Police, Social Welfare, the Hospital and Judiciary. 15 clinicians under the Chikwawa District Health Office were trained in GBV case management to strengthen their capacity to handle cases at the district One Stop Centre. The training focused on the examination, treatment and counselling of GBV survivors. 

Coordination is key in the fight against GBV.

Clinician training in session