NGO Empowers Girls and Young Women in Lilongwe Rural with Business Skills
Mayamiko Alan, a 21-year-old resident of Group Village Head Chiseka in Lilongwe rural, had been struggling to make ends meet due to a lack of sustainable income-Moses Nyirenda
Malawi-Mayamiko Alan, a 21-year-old resident of Group Village Head Chiseka in Lilongwe rural, had been struggling to make ends meet due to a lack of sustainable income, writes Moses Nyirenda.
She was among many young women and girls in rural communities facing this challenge.
However, Alan's story took a positive turn when a local non-governmental organization (NGO) called GENET introduced interventions aimed at empowering girls and young women with business skills and financial capacity.
Alan is now engaged in the small-scale farming business, thanks to the business skills and capital she received from GENET.
"Through the profits that I make out of my business, I am now able to support myself by buying basic needs that I was struggling to buy before," she says.
Hilda Phiri, another beneficiary of the NGO's program, shares Alan's sentiments. Phiri runs a small groceries shop and received training on how to run a business from GENET. She now makes more profits and runs her business more efficiently.
GENET is implementing a project in the country called 'Technology and Empowerment Enhancing Network in Safe Spaces (TEENS)' with support from the Embassy of Ireland through UNFPA.
The project aims to empower girls and young women with business skills and financial capacity. Mercy Mituka, the project coordinator, explains that the NGO wants to empower girls and young women in the country to realize their potential.
"A lot of young women and girls in rural communities are not economically independent as they fail to do business due to a lack of skills and resources. Therefore, as GENET, we thought it wise to start empowering these girls and young women with business skills and some resources so that they can realize their dreams and potential," Mituka says.
The project is currently working with girls and young women from Traditional Authority (T/A) Tsabango and Senior Chief Chiseka in Lilongwe district.
In all two areas where they are working, about 50 women were given business skills and a total of K1.5 million to boost up their businesses and some to new ventures into business.
GENET hopes to see economic transformation among the beneficiaries of their project.
Senior Chief Chiseka commends GENET for its project and says it would help many girls and young women in his area to become financially independent.
The Ministry of Gender Public Relations Officer, Pauline Kaude, also hailed GENET for its initiative.
"The initiative by GENET is a welcome development to the Ministry in the sense that there will be economic growth in the targeted women and girls and this will reduce the gender gap with already exists in the country between men and women, especially in the workforce, as this will act as a means of job creation," Kaude says.
GENET's initiative is timely, as the Ministry of Gender is working tirelessly to empower women economically in the country.
The NGO's project will not only create jobs and reduce the gender gap but will also give them a chance to girls to continue with their education since they will be financially stable.
Women who are economically empowered are less likely to face abuse in their homes, and even if they encounter abuse, they can easily leave the abusive homes since they can rely on themselves for a living.
Headline: NGO Empowers Girls and Young Women in Lilongwe Rural with Business Skills to Promote Economic Growth and Gender Equality.