LISAP's Every Girl Empowered Project Changing lives in Mzimba


Some jobs are seen as being only for men. Take bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, cell phone repairing, and of course dish installation.
However, one woman is changing this analogy by venturing into cell phone repairing and dish installation.
26-year-old Alfonsina Banda repairs cell phones do dish installation and is also comfortable with electrical wiring.
"I am now getting established as people trust me more with their cell phones when they need repairing", says Alfonsina while dismantling a cell phone which needs repairing.
Married to a teacher at Mabiri primary school, Banda uses the verandah of her house as an office for her cell phone repair business.
When the need arises he teams up with two boys who also attended the vocational skills training which was organized by the Livingstonia Synod Aids Program - LISAP -  to go out and do some electrical wiring to supplement her earnings
" I make a lot of money through cell phone repairing and dish installation luckily for me my husband is very supportive as he knows that I complement his efforts to bring food to the table", said Banda.
Alfonsina is one of the four ladies trained in cell phone repairing, electrical wiring, and dish installation as part of LISAP's initiative under its 'Every Girl Empowered Project'  which aims at empowering youths through vocational skills training.
Over 10 youths around Mabiri in the area of Inkosi Mmbelwa have benefitted from such a training which was being conducted by Sanwecka tech companions.
According to Alfonsina, she makes over K100,000 a month through the work she does for different people.
5 young women were among the youths who benefitted from vocational skills training in electrical appliances which was facilitated by LISAP.
24-year-old Masautso Zhyozi of Chinjati Zhyozi village is another beneficially of the training.
"This course has surely changed my life at first I would toil working in gardens trying to grow vegetables but now am my own boss, I make my own money and also use some of the proceeds to support my family", says Masautso.
Masautso says he would like to invest in opening a sizable shop where he can also be employing other young men in his area.
" We are now getting established a lot of houses in this area were wired by us sometimes we get job offers from as far as Lundazi in Zambia", said Zhyozi with a beaming smile on his face.
The development has excited Mmbelwa district council labor officer Russell Mhoni who has since commended LISAP for the initiative saying its a milestone in ensuring that youths become economically independent.
" As an office we feel this is a welcome development as it compliments government efforts in the provision of employment to the youths",said Mhoni.
Mhoni called on the youths who are now making their own money after attaining the skills to ensure that they are trustworthy if they are to keep their customers and expand their ventures.
He also urged them to be prudent in their business by ensuring that they keep records for them to know whether they are making profits or not.
LISAP project manager Tina Banda said the vocational skills component of the project was hatched to ensure that youths in the area under Inkosi Mmbelwa have their lives improved economically.
"After noting that a lot of youths do not have ways of they can support themselves economically we came up with this program so that our youths can attain skills that can change their livelihoods", said Banda
Banda said apart from the vocational skills component they are also implementing various interventions aimed at mitigating the HIV/Aids pandemic among communities 
" We have also facilitated the formation of teen clubs which have greatly assisted in reducing the defaulting of ART treatment among the youths affected by the HIV/Aids pandemic",said Banda.
One Woman Modesta Mseteka of Andreya Mkuna  village who is a guardian for a teen who is living positively with the virus, says the teen clubs are crucial as they have changed the behaviour of their children in terms of taking their medication.
"At first we were having problems to ensure that our kids are taking their medication but after joining teen clubs everything has changed, there is no defaulting on medication, their health status has tremendously improved", said Mseteka.
Through the Every Girl Empowered Project LISAP is also working with mother groups in selected schools to ensure that girls are not dropping out of schools due to pregnancies or early marriages.
The mother groups are tracking the education of girls and where need arises some are being withdrawn from marriages and reinstated in schools.
They are also following up cases of defilement and ensuring that culprits are being prosecuted.
Parents are also being drilled on how they can discuss sexual reproductive health issues with their children so that they are prevented from contracting sexually transmitted diseases or get impregnated prematurely.
The Livingstonia Aids Program is implementing the 'Every Girl Empowered Project with financial assistance from the  Presbyterian World Service and Development.
The project aims to empower communities through education and other interventions as one way of improving their livelihoods.
The project was hatched after noting that Mzimba is dodged by a myriad of challenges that include high  school drop out rates, teenage pregnancies, early marriages, gender based violence and lack of useful information about the HIV pandemic and how it can be mitigated.
Read 1915 times
Login to post comments
Go to top
JSN Time 2 is designed by | powered by JSN Sun Framework