Ujama Project has equipped girls in hard-to-reach parts of Mzimba with basic defensive skills to protect them from physical and sexual violence.
According to Traditional Authority (T/A) Khosolo, the schoolgirls from Unyolo, Kanjuchi and Kabena in his territory really need the skills to protect themselves from violent men who waylay them during their long walks to school.
A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund shows one in five girls in the country is a victim of sexual abuse.
About 1037 girls have so far benefitted from Ujama’s push to reduce cases of sexual assaults to girls in rural areas where long distances to school expose them to defilement and violent attacks.
Ujama project coordinator Martha Kapanga said: “We saw the need to train the girls in Impower self-defense scheme so that they can defend themselves in critical situations when they face assault.
“We teach the girls the four weakest areas in a man which they can easily hit to rescue themselves.”
They have also trained 941 boys in Khonsolo.
District Social Welfare officer Grace Mvula said the initiatives will help lessen sexual violence which forces girls to quit school. n