The United States Ambassador, Virginia Palmer, alongside the First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika, on Friday launched three projects worth K34 billion aimed at promoting lives of girls and the youth in general.
During the symbolic launch of the projects in B, Gertrude Mutharika, said, among other things, the projects will promote girls’ education and lead to their improved lives.
The funds include K6 billion for empowering girls through education and health in a project called Aspire, K10 billion for a Dreams Project for prevention of the spread of HIV to girls and young women and K19 billion for ACT programme for ensuring that HIV-positive children—boys and girls alike— get life-saving treatment.
Said the First Lady: “Since Aspire project is also going to look into education of the girls while they are in school, they are going to avoid early pregnancies and early marriages as they are going to make informed choices in life.”
On her part, Palmer said the programmes will help to close the gender gap. She said she agrees with President Mutharika that gender equality, ending violence against women and girls and empowerment of women and girls are key to sustainable social, political and economic development.
She said there is no limit to the impact girls can make when investment is made in them.
Palmer said through Aspire project they expect that by 2018, at least 90 percent of students in grade four will be able to finish grade eight instead of the current 77 percent. n