High cases of abuse on women and HIV /AIDS infections are expected to be reduced in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu in the next five years.
This follows engagement of traditional leaders as well as faith leaders in the district by local Non Governmental Organisation Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (COWLHA).
The organisation is implementing a project with emphasis in women empowerment under new approach known as Sasa Faith.
In the new approach, the NGO will be using local leaders and faith leaders in raising awareness aimed at reducing such cases in the district.
Previously, the grouping was using Star Circle method whereby it was using community facilitators in raising awareness on evils of such malpractices.
Speaking to Capital FM, COWLHA Programs Manager views the new approach will go a long way in achieving the project desired goal.
Harry Madukani disclosed that with the intervention, a large number of communities will be reached with key messages on gender based violence and HIV/AIDS unlike previous methodologies.
"Religious and local leaders are too influential in the communities as they demand a large following.
And we strongly believe their involvement will have a great impact in reducing the cases of gender based violence as well as HIV/AIDS in the district," explained Madukani.
A local leader under Traditional Authority Mpando disclosed that the project have helped a lot in reducing cases of abuses against women in his area of jurisdiction.
Group Village headman Madana however described their engagement as a welcome development hence reaffirmed total commitment in raising awareness to communities.
COWLHA is implementing the initiative with financial assistance from Trocare.