Community members from Fowo Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Namavi in Mangochi district have acknowledged the positive impact which livelihood activities have had on reduction of child marriage incidences in the area.
In 2018, YONECO introduced various Income Generating Activities (IGAs) that were aimed at enhancing socioeconomic welfare needy families whose young children were at the risk of dropping out of school to get married. The initiative was implemented under ‘Marriage; No Child’s Play’ Project that was implemented in the area between 2016 to 2020 with funded by the Dutch government through Simavi.
The project focused on addressing sociocultural and economic factors like Gender Based Violence (GBV) poverty which fuel child marriages in Malawi. Among other interventions, YONECO introduced Village Savings Loans and Associations (VSLAs) which enabled the targeted community members to save and invest into various small scale businesses. YONECO trained the targeted community members in financial literacy and business management skills. Further to this, YONECO also introduced small scale commercial farming in the area.
Thus, a number of girls, young women and parents made their testimonies during a follow up visit which YONECO programmes team conducted in the area.
“Joining one of the VSLA groups that were established in my village was a good decision. The group has greatly helped me to enhance my socioeconomic welfare and I am able to take care of all my children,” explained one community members – Moreen Mlenga.