CCJP Supports Vulnerable Girls in Neno

Group photo of CCJP and DEN members Group photo of CCJP and DEN members - pic by Steve Kalungwe

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) through MISEREOR Germany says there is a need to empower vulnerable young girls who have been selected and have interest to pursue secondary education and Mother Groups with bursaries and entrepreneurial skills.

CCJP coordinator in the Archdiocese of Blantyre Joseph Kampango said this today in Neno where his organisation is sponsoring 100 vulnerable girls with learning materials including scholarships.

For the project dubbed "Shaping Girls Future in Neno" to be a success, it is also training 20 mother groups in skills development like tailoring, soap making and bakery in a bid to emancipate them out of exploitation.

"We are going to have this project for three years with a chance of expanding basing on availability of funds and we aim to bring to school all girls who have shown interest to pursue their studies after being selected to community day secondary schools and even teen mothers," said Kampango.

He said that four traditional authorities in Neno will have 25 Community Secondary school girls benefiting while 20 Mother Groups will be capacitated with entrepreneurial skills.

"He narrated that "after noting that lack of parental care was fueling school drop outs, we thought it wise to give these mother's through Mother Groups, some skills that will make them independent and be able to pay for school needs of their wards so that these children do not fail school as their parents did".

Neno District Commissioner Rosemary Nawasha while recommending the project, has asked relevant authorities to exercise transparency and accountability in the manner they will be selecting the beneficiaries.

She said that, Neno as a district, has so many vulnerable girls who need support hence her call for the Commission to consider going above the 100 it has planned in its project.

But Neno District Education Network (DEN) chairperson Russel Msiska said that their Education Technical Working Group which met on Monday, looked into the matter and " we have advised the CCJP to use the Mother Groups, Traditional Authorities and other key stakeholders like the Chief Education Officer and headteachers in the Identification of the girls".

Meanwhile, the CEO representative Wexter Zingwangwa believes that the project will help to improve the enrollment rate of girls in various Community Day Secondary schools and has asked to consider raising the figure so that many girls are reached to which Kampango said the proposal will be considered in the near future.

Neno District Council Director of Planning and Development Charles Lomoni has also assured CCJP that the council will sit down with chiefs to iron out all factors that hinder girl-child education like harmful cultural practices.

He said that they plan to harmonise Neno Chiefs by-laws with the National by-laws in a bid to safeguard the rights of the children and avoid being in conflict with the law.

The project which is for 3-years is to a tune of 483, 335 million Malawi Kwacha and is expected to raise the education standards of the marginalised girls in the district.

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