Vending with Hope: A market for services in rural Malawi

8,000 young male and female vendors descend on Mitundu Market (38kms from Malawi's capital city Lilongwe) twice a week. Some female vendors offer sex in exchange for favours like lower prices, free transport and accommodation. Many young men spend small profits on drink and sex. An assessment of 161 vendors revealed that 20% had contracted an STI, 50% of them had had sex without a condom on at least one occasion, 30% of vendors had had sex with a sex worker, but only 13% of these had used a condom. Negative attitudes and long waiting times discouraged them from using sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) at the nearby hospital.

In just 10 months, Vending with Hope provided Voluntary Counselling and Testing to 1,000 clients, and STI treatment to 112 individuals. It directly accessed 4,000 vendors. It initiated 60 peer group discussions, trained 10 peer educators.

Supported by the Japan Trust Fund.