District Youth Officer for Mangochi, Kumbukani Manda has urged public and civil society organizations in the district to support youth activities and ensure sustainability of projects after phasing out.
Manda made the appeal on Friday during a youth technical sub-committee meeting held at the District Education Manager’s conference hall in Mangochi.
The DYO’s remarks followed a presentation of a new project to be introduced in the district by Concern World Wide called ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls.’
He observed that the district benefits from many projects focusing on the youth but there is always no sustainability of the new practices once a project phases out.
“There is need to consider sustainability of programmes right at planning stage,” said Manda, adding: “Communities and the target groups should be empowered to carry out the programmes on their own even after the projects phase out.”
The project by Concern World Wide, which is yet to be presented to the district executive committee (DEC), will run for one year and it has a budget line of K35 million targeting 1875 girls.
Empowering Young Adolescent Project Team Leader for Concern Worldwide Victor Mthulo said the projects will be implemented Traditional Authority Namabvi because the area ranks high in terms of school dropouts in the district.
He said the goal of the project is to empower out-of-school adolescent girls in Mangochi through sports in fighting gender inequality and increasing access to education, sexual and reproductive health rights, among other things.
“By the end of this project we expect to see improved knowledge, attitudes and practices around sexual and reproductive health rights and education and also that adolescent girls will have capacity to make positive choices in life,” Mthulo said.
He added: “We have practical evidence of the effectiveness of an activity-based life skills curriculum which helps in changing and addressing the conduct of girls, especially out of school adolescent girls.”
Mthulo said Empowering Adolescent Girls project would develop a curriculum which would be called Skillz girl and that it would have topics aimed at helping the adolescents realize the importance of education and the ills of early marriages and teen pregnancies.
“They will be trained on how to protect themselves from contracting HIV and AIDS, early pregnancies and marriages through engaging them into sporting activities,” he said.
Mthulo emphasized that facilitators of the project will also help in linking the adolescent young women with service providers and will also visit the homes of girls to engage their parents for their support to the programme.