About 100 youths, mostly girls from traditional authorities Chindi and Kampingo Sibande in Mzimba have graduated with certificates in carpentry, tailoring, bricklaying, hairdressing and phone repairing as part of a project to end gender-based violence (GBV).
Apart from the certificates, the graduands, who come from ultra-poor families, have also been provided with start-up tools, and are expected to operate within their home areas to improve their socio-economic status.
The project, Essential GBV Prevention and Services, seeks to reduce GBV incidences and increase coordination of multi-sectoral respondents Speaking during the certificate award ceremony at Euthini in Mzimba at the weekend, Engender Health director Chisomo Kaufulu said most youths, especially girls who have not completed secondary education, are vulnerable to GBV.
She said: “We wanted to see how best we can get GBV survivors the necessary support. We also recognised that women and girls who have no forms of economic empowerment are more vulnerable to GBV.
On his part, deputy director for child affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Justin Trevor Hamela said cultural beliefs and early marriages are among major contributing factors of GBV; hence, the need for coordinated efforts to deal with the vice
.One of the graduands in hairdressing, Lizzie Nyirenda, who wrote Form Four examinations in 2016, said the skills will help her raise fees for further studies. n