Friday, 25 August 2017

A WATCHDOG AT HEART

By: Richard Chilango & evelece Chinga’mbe

It was an era of advocacy, it was a period of activism, it was a moment of sponsorship, it was a minute of support, it was an epoch of youth interventions, it was an age of sponsorship, it was a full-stop to child marriages, it was the death of male chauvinism, it was a tombstone unveiling ceremony for gender based violence, it was the Revelation of women’s inferiority complex and happy birthday to their self-belief. In summary, it was a time when women, children and youth rights campaign was at its orgasm.

Be it that you haven’t heard about this human rights watchdog in mention, then you need to be updated, that one true organization is Youth Net and counselling (YONECO), Its Tithandizane helpline center has a free toll line with which helpline councilors respond to all the calls from clients and victims of abuse. You can pop into YONECO premises on a familiarization tour, but you won’t see the councilors vagabonding the premises like a lost sheep in wilderness deprived of wolfs, standing at the edges of the cafeteria for a viewpoint won’t do favors. Telepathy will only betray for the councilors routinely work indoors for the sake of a tête-à-tête mediated environment, and that’s always best for guidance and counselling in the long run.

If you were to see the councilors, you would find a presentable, decent person with a helpful look, pondering hard on how best to respond to questions rendered by clients. Often times, the councilors will hold the phone receiver on one hand and a pen on the other hand. The men clad in long decent shots and shirts that have a bowtie, the women also slay it executively unless it’s on a Fry day. 

The watchdog (YONECO) is present wherever human rights are being infringed or deprived, it’s always omnipresent in its catchment areas and thus speaking of districts like Nkhatabay, Rumphi, Salima, Mchinji, Mangochi, Zomba, Chikhwawa, Ntchisi, Ntcheu, Machinga, Mulanje, Likoma,  Nkhotakota and Phalombe at times.

People who have a liking for the radio developed an interest to keep a keen eye on the name YONECO FM (YFM) and doors are left wide open to receive anybody who is dying to place their feet on the majestic vicinities of YFM. A visit by an audience full of praises causes a YONECO journalist to smile in appreciation and that elevates their work energy going forward. A woman who has spent two years and six months admiring the Golden voiced Olivier Gondwe , dreaming of setting her eyes on the award winning ,titus Linzie, causes the journalists in mention to keep up the good work in progress.

It’s no cause for pity that journalists have one day to rest out of the seven days believed of making a week, for their work is a calling. Although their work terms and conditions indicate room for leave days, their never on a hundred percent holiday, they do not worry that they are in the wrong profession as long as they are informing, civic education and entertaining the general public, but most of all they have excellent working conditions and privileges.

Rumor is it that journalist are luxurious people, but journalist belonging to this watchdog are different. All that lingers in their freedom fighting mindsets is rights advocacy. On Monday the journalist attend to staff briefing meeting where issues are looked at from an institutional point of view, Tuesdays to Sundays are for advocacy, news reporting, and radio presentation, outside broadcast and field work.

After paternity and maternal holidays the journalist works day in and day out to backlog time lost and wasted away over the leave holidays. No wonder the aftermath of maternity holiday makes one feel like a newly employee. The journalists have for so long been used as a weapon in fighting for the rights of special groups of people though modern times has created a breed of social media loving journalist who would spend a moment of forever twitting about their luxurious shoes instead of utilizing such platforms to convey messages of sexual reproductive health and rights. But thanks heavens the watchdog has a different breed of reporter’s and presenters, they kind that uses ICT tools in communicating SRHR issues.

Were you to ask a journalist what makes them feel sorry, they would tell you one laughable thing, that they always feel sorry for seedless watermelons, if you ask them why?, they would respond to you that what if they wanted to have babies.

Working tirelessly in a boardroom full of files, accountant officers will patiently sit on the desk waiting for officers who went out on field to liquidate and submit their field reports so that they file such information and keep it in their safe keeping whilst awaiting audit. The finance manager will pass by the desks of each and every accounts officer all just to make sure work is being done at the desired expectation and right pace. The manager will pass by the next desk, where a man is enjoyably wondering when next will he go out for field work, and that tells a story, a story of a watchdog with a lot of opportunities to offer. He stops by the desk of the young man who is counting every minute, and loathing the hours, the finance managers laughs in shame knowing that YONECO is a service delivery organization.

Sitting on an office chair, is a happy employee of the watchdog with a pen that is scribbling what your eyes are founding merry in. 





  


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