Chichewa Spoken Word Poetry as a Capacity Building and Awareness Tool for Reducing the Prevalence of Gender Based Violence at Soche Technical College in Malawi

Author(s): Robert Chiwamba
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Abena Busia


This project is a response to findings of a situational analysis on the status of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) of students and Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Technical and Vocational Colleges (TVCs) in Malawi, commissioned by Skills and Technical Education Program (STEP) in 2017. It will use Soche Technical College (SOTECO) as a pilot site for implementation. If successful, the project will be rolled out to all TVCs in Malawi. The analysis (STEP, 2017) found that there is a high prevalence of GBV in TVCs. The project seeks to use the power of art; recorded spoken word poetry to be precise to reach, mobilize, move, express and wrestle with social norms that reinforce high prevalence of GBV in TVCs. Recorded spoken word poetry is a powerful tool for packaging and disseminating messages in a way that appeals to human consciousness. Messages that are packaged in this way trigger questions. Answers to these questions may influence one to re-examine his or her behavior. The project will involve the production of GBV related recorded spoken word poetry, facilitation of recorded poetry listening sessions, recorded poetry listening sessions, discussion, and change agents training, recruitment and organising at SOTECO. The three-year project is built on the premise that information is power; i.e. having information on GBV is an important step towards finding solutions to it. The project will use the SASA approach to project implementation. Developed in Uganda but widely used in Sub-Saharan Africa, SASA is a community mobilisation approach to fighting GBV that sees change as a process that involves four stages; Start, Awareness, Support and Action (SASA). In addressing GBV at SOTECO, the project will contribute to the government of Malawi’s efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) of quality education and gender equality respectively by 2030.