UNFPA’s animated series highlights the plight of Malawian girl-child

UNFPA on Tuesday released the 3rd edition of an animated series dubbed “Nthambi”.

Nthambi series details the life of a Malawian girl-child, a 17-year-old single mother from a rural setup.Commenting on the series, UNFPA Malawi Resident Representative Won Young Hong,, Malawi says: “Nthambi’s character is a product of extensive research and the story line will be informed by UNFPA’s vast experience in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Her voice represents the aspiration of many girls who don’t have the platform to either enjoy or demand their sexual reproductive rights.”

Nthambi’s story starts when she hears, at a community meeting in her village, of the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) that will take place in Nairobi, Kenya in 12-14th November this year.

Although she does not know what she will find in the meeting of Nairobi, she decides to go there because she overheard girls like her will come and discuss the challenges they are going through.

Driven by a will to change her circumstances, she takes a bus to the city in the hope of reaching Nairobi. Along the way, the adventure unfolds as she meets different characters who will expose her to the harsh realities of being a girl as well as a woman in Malawi while forming a unique friendship with people she meets on her way to support each other.

“The chance meetings with different characters will shape her understanding on areas such as sexual reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and education,” adds Young. “Our hope is that through the journey of Nthambi, her friends and our audience will also learn a wide range of issues, challenges, and barriers related to sexual and reproductive health and rights adolescent girls and women are facing every day in Malawi.”

According to Young, UNFPA has made the animated series more engaging by also inviting feedback from its audience to shape the script. This way, the animated series will capture some of the aspirations of the youth and how they want us to shape policy so that they can thrive within their own environment.

Despite some positive shifts, the Malawian adolescent girls and women still face a plethora of problems that range from social to structural, which often excludes them from standing for opportunity.

The series has been running on UNFPA Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube channel from Wednesday the 18th of September up to November when the ICPD conference will end in Kenya.

Every week, UNFPA will release a three-part series which will form an episode based on a specific themes.

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