Concerned Youth Organization (CYO), a local non-governmental organization, has embarked on an ambitious project that aims at equipping women and girls in Mchinji with skills to enable them actively participate in the economic activities thereby contribution to the national development.
CYO has secured K38 million financial support from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), which it intends to use on trainings women and girls in skills development programmes in the district.
The organization’s Executive Director, Harvey Chimaliro, told Nyasa Times in an interview on Tuesday that his organization realizes the existence of various social inequalities affecting women and girls that need to be holistically addressed by among other things empowering women with skills to overcome their day-to-day challenges.
“We target to train 780 women and girls in ICT Skills, tailoring, shoe making as well as sausage and peanut butter making. We are happy with the progress, which the project is registering, and we hope to make positive impact on the lives of women, girls and their families,” said Chimaliro.
Charity Kasaika –a project beneficiary from Mtunga Village in Traditional Mduwa in Mchinji – hailed the introduction of the skills development programmes, stressing that they could be a game changer for women in her community.
Kasaika disclosed that women are geared to form groups and embark on small-scale businesses after gaining the skills.
“We are grateful to COL and CYO. Most of us have not gone far with school; such programs are our only hope to transform our livelihoods,” she remarked.
CYO is implementing a 10-month Girl Inspire/Livelihoods for Women Empowerment Project in Traditional Authorities Zulu, Nyoka and Mduwa in Mchinji district.
The project is focusing on four key result areas namely: sustainable agricultural practices, skills development programs, gender and access to education.
Mchinji is among the districts worst affected with rising cases of school dropouts, child marriages and other sexual reproductive health related challenges.