By Vincent Gunde
District Commissioner for Dowa Stallichi Mwambiwa, has hailed the strong coordination Spotlight Initiative has realized in the district and community structures in fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Mwambiwa emphasized on the need for continuity in the programme with the capacity built and resources including mobility in the elimination of violence against women and girls at the village and community level.
Speaking during a sustainability meeting of the phasing out of Spotlight Initiative programme held at the Boma, Mwambiwa called for more support in returning girls withdrawn from early marriages back to school claiming that these requires support from child care, fees, basic needs and necessities and a vehicle to remain in the district for sustaining Spotlight Initiative programmes.
Mwambiwa said resources are still needed to implement the project interventions in the district assuring stakeholders that Spotlight Initiative is not exiting saying the interventions are on-going in the communities thanking Spotlight for leaving a big mark in the district.
He said it has been a long journey from 2019 observing that Spotlight activities are being implemented by the local people as owners for sustainability purposes saying even chiefs in the seven areas of Traditional Authorities the initiative is being implemented, are all grateful.
The DC said Spotlight Initiatives started with five Traditional Authorities which later extended to the other two, Kayembe and Chakhaza, has left no one behind saying responsiveness in terms of Gender Based Violence [GBV], coordination with the Police, council and courts is very cordial.
“Interventions are on-going, what exactly is exiting, today’s meeting is just an overview of what Spotlight Initiative is doing in the district,’’ said Mwambiwa.
He said Spotlight Initiative has made a lot of progress on the ground such as a lot of awareness on Gender Based Violence [GBV] reporting with communities able to come up with their own interventions on GBV.
In his remarks, Owen Nalivaka, Chief Economist in the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture, assured all stakeholders including District Councils sustaining the gains of Spotlight Initiative in all six districts that they will never be abandoned.
Nalivaka said the fact that there are limited resources should not compel them not to do more advising councils that they can still strategize by making use of various programmes available at the council for its sustainability.
He encouraged the Dowa District Council to continue working hard in progressing the Spotlight interventions by taking care of all assets that came to the council through this initiative.
The exiting of Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) project in Dowa district was witnessed by officials from UNICEF, UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA, among others.
Spotlight Initiative programmes were being implemented in the six districts of the country including Dowa with funds from the European Union (EU).