COWLHA graduates youths in business skills management

By Steve Chirombo, MANA

A total of 25 young people from the areas of Ngabu and Paramount Chief Lundu in Chikwawa have been presented with certificates in financial literacy skills and business management, courtesy of training from Coalition of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (COWLHA) 

The young people graduated on Saturday from the five-day training which was organized with support from a Netherlands based AIDSFONDS under the Get Up, Speak Out (GUSO) project.

GUSO Project Officer for Chikwawa, Sekani Tchuwa said the training, which attracted community based distribution agents (CBDAs), who promote high uptake of sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR).

SRHR aims at ensuring that the young people are economically empowered and have the potential to venture into smallscale businesses.

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Tchuwa said during the implementation of the GUSO project, COWHLA realized that most of the young people are school dropouts and others didn’t go far with education while others, due to financial constraints are unable to uplift their living standards.

“We decided to have a business management training to give the young people skills to build their capacity as well as provide skills to them so that they can do businesses to be economically empowered, in the process, achieve the project’s goal of increasing uptake of SRHR,” she said.

Tchuwa expressed hope that some government departments in the district would support monitoring progress of the interventions since GUSO project was expected to end in December, 2020.

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“Young people have the potential; all they need are skills and space. They need someone who would believe in them that they can do it,” she said.

“Our expectation is that these young people will be able to financially support themselves and reach out to other young people in some hard-to-reach areas with SRHR services because one of the key challenges we noticed in our work was transportation,” Tchuwa said. 

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Chairperson for Ngabu Youth Network, Mphungu Manason, who is also a member for Nsenjere Youth Club said the training would contribute to the improvement of their economic well-being.

Community Development Officer for Chikwawa District Council, Spencer Kamalizeni said the skills were a necessity as they were on-job training and would economically empower the young people so that they become self-reliant and keep them engaged. 

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“It’s quite impressive that COWLHA delivered both financial literacy and the business management skills. 

“We hope when they graduate from the village savings and loans, they will be able to do some small scale businesses such as petty trading, livestock production even providing some services to various communities,” Kamalizeni said.

However, he confessed that most young people lack start-up capital for kick-starting entrepreneurship. 

During the training, the youth went through VSL concept, business management as well as hands-on training on production of reusable sanitary pads.