Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco), in conjunction with Action Aid and Christian Aid with funding from Global Fund, last week launched a K2 billion girls empowerment project in Traditional Authority Chikumbu in Mulanje.
Yoneco executive director MacBain Mkandawire said his organisation’s objective is to work with adolescent girls and young women who dropped out of school.
“We encourage them to join Village Service Associations where they are taught different business skills,” he said.
Mkandawire also said his organisation is fighting against early marriages.
In her remarks, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani expressed concern over girls’ dropout rate and the high number of girls with HIV and Aids in Malawi. She said Mulanje is one of the worst-hit districts in the country.
“It is pathetic that 20 percent of adolescent girls and young women are HIV positive while 18 percent of the girls dropout out of school because of early marriages and poverty. In addition, five percent of girls aged between 10 and 14 drop out of school because of early pregnancy,” she said. The project, which will run for eight months, is also being implemented in Lilongwe and Mangochi. n