Mulanje Youth Equipped with Vocational Skill Tools

Mweziwina and other officials presenting the tool box to Alinafe Alick, the cellphones repairer Mweziwina and other officials presenting the tool box to Alinafe Alick, the cellphones repairer - pic by Hastings Jimani

Plan International Malawi in partnership with Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) has donated assorted vocational skill tools worth K80 million to 101 youths in Mulanje.

Speaking to Zodiak Online after a symbolic hand over of the equipment to 25 youths on Tuesday at Namphungo centre, Girls Get Equal Project Manager at Plan International Malawi, Jane Mweziwina, said different studies reveal poverty is the main driver of child marriages and pregnancies in Mulanje.

“We, Plan Malawi together with our implementing partner CARD came up with this initiative to empower the youths economically and break the poverty cycle,” said Mweziwina.

Chief Education Officer at Mulanje District Council, Cryton Tambala, said this is the support the council has been looking for as it struggles to support children withdrawn from early marriages.

“Of course, there are pockets of cultural elements that are also contributing to increasing cases of child marriages and pregnancies in Mulanje and I am proud to report that the District Child Protection Committee (DCPC) has been vigilant in advocating for the elimination of archaic and harmful cultural practices,” said Tambala.

CARD Deputy Programs Manager Lameck Nkhoma said currently the youths are undergoing training in tailoring and designing, welding, motorcycle mechanics and phone repair.

He says the training is for three months. 

Alinafe Alick, a boy with physical disabilities from Namphungo village in Traditional Authority Juma, is among the beneficiaries of the vocational skills initiative and he expressed hope that the toolbox he received will help him advance his skills.

“Let me urge my fellow youths with disabilities that begging will not solve their problems and they better find income-generating activities that will be helping them in their daily lives,” said Alick.   

The Girls Get Equal project which is implemented in Mulanje, Phalombe and Lilongwe seeks to reduce early pregnancies and marriages in the three districts.

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