Kasungu-based Bowe Youth Vocational Training Institute (BVYTI) on Tuesday awarded certificates to 117 women and adolescent girls who completed training in vocational and technical courses under the Women Economic Empowerment Intervention Project.
A local health rights organisation, Engender Health Malawi, is implementing the project in four districts of Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Kasungu and Mzimba with financial assistance from the United State Department of State.
The intervention seeks to capacitate out-of-school girls and young women aged between 18 and 30 to enable them to be economically self-reliant thereby mitigating their vulnerability to gender-based violence (GBV).
In her remarks at the graduation, the US Department of State technical advisor on Adolescent Girls and Young Women, Emily Brown, said the American Government is happy to contribute to Malawi Government’s efforts to eradicate GBV cases through the promotion of vocational and technical skills development programme.
Brown urged the graduating girls and young women to seriously think entrepreneurship as a tool to arrest the rising unemployment levels and GBV in the country.
The EngenderHealth national director, Chisomo Kaufulu-Kumwenda, said in partnership with Technical Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA), her organisation intends to lift young women and girls out of abject poverty and GBV zones.
Kaufulu-Kumwenda stressed that vocational skills is key to eradicating GBV in Malawi as it provides victims with various economic opportunities.
“Malawi needs young people with demonstrable knowledge and skills to help steer national economic agenda through promotion and sustenance of entrepreneurship. Hence, this intervention’s goal is to build your capacity so that you contribute towards transforming this country using your various acquired skills,” she said.
TEVETA senior training programmes specialist responsible for apprenticeship, Joseph Chikopa, said the authority was particularly impressed that the project is promoting the participation of girls and young women in vocational and technical skills training programmes.