Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) has trained about 307 young people in vocational skills in Ntchisi, Malawi, through ‘Stop Child Marriage’ (STOM) project.
EAM is implementing the project in partnership with Danish Church Aid, Press Trust, and Teveta.
Young people in the seven Traditional Authorities (TAs) in Ntchisi acquired skills in tailoring, carpentry and joinery, motor-cycle mechanics, hair saloon, welding, and fabrication.
Many young girls are understood to have started their businesses after the training, according to Project Coordinator Amos Chibwana.
‘We are very satisfied with the impact of this project because we have seen many young girls starting their own businesses after the training’, he said.
The aim of the project was to contribute to the reduction of child marriage and support the sustainable development of their households, communities, and the nation.
Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with approximately 42 percent of girls married before the age of 18, and nine percent below the age of 15, according to data from UNICEF.
Chibwana said the main component of the project was the provision of secondary school bursary to young girls and women out of school.
The government of Malawi has also been championing technical and vocational skills among young people through technical and vocational training colleges to reduce unemployment and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship.
‘However, this work of ending child marriages needs collective efforts and we need more partners’, Chibwana said.
A beneficiary from Malomo village, Moneyi Chipeta, thanked EAM for the initiative, saying it will go a long way in motivating young people to be self-reliant and industrious.
The 20-year-old Chipeta owns a welding shop at Malomo trading centre.
She said, ‘I got married at the age of 17. The marriage life was not rosy as I anticipated. It was hell. Thanks to Evangelical Association of Malawi for rescuing me in a child marriage trap and helping me with this skill, I am now able to take care of myself and also support my [child].
Source: Nyasa Times
Photo source: Stop Child Marriages