Health Communication for Life (HC4L) is a five-year USAID Malawi funded project (September 2016 — September 2021), aimed at contributing to the health status of all Malawians by facilitating improvement of health-seeking practices, strengthen social and behavior change communication (SBCC) capacity of government and its institutional partners, as well as improve data use for SBCC decision making. The project, coordinated by FHI 360 as the prime contractor for USAID, works with Malawi Government through the Ministry of Health (MoH) — Health Education Services (HES), and strategic national and international partners (sub-contractors), namely, Theatre for a Change (TFaC), Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), the Story Workshop Educational Trust (SWET), Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM), Human Network International (HNI) and the University of Witwatersrand (UofW).
CRECCOM comes in to collaborate with another USAID funded health project Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s Health (ONSE) Project which is being implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH). CRECCOM complements ONSE on intermediate result four which aims at increasing demand for quality priority health services. This paper strategizes how CRECCOM is going to better leverage the current Moyo ndi Mpamba campaign, brand identity, value proposition and evaluating for impact through community mobilization by using STAR Circle and Radio Listening Club approaches.
Radio Listening Clubs are community—based groups that meet to listen to radio Programs and facilitate development of SBCC discourse within their own community. STAR is an acronym and stands for Societies Tackling Aids through Rights. These are groups formed in the communities and comprise members from those communities. A STAR Circle usually comprises of 15 to 25 male and female members, from all age groups and includes members of religious beliefs, Initiation counsellors and Gule Wamkulu leaders, among others. These societies discuss, address and find possible solutions to social issues affecting their communities.