Economic empowerment of women is critical to the realization of sustainable socioeconomic growth. Empowered women are more likely able to avoid Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and prevent contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).
Thus, YONECO has been conducting a number of empowerment activities targeting women in various parts of Malawi. The interventions include training sessions to impart the women with financial literacy and business management skills.
In January of 2022, YONECO trained 84 women in financial literacy and business management. The women were identified among others who were operating small-scale businesses around Limbe market in Blantyre city.
After the training, YONECO facilitated the establishment of a savings and loans group in order to promote a culture of saving as well as ensure ng that the women have access to soft loans to further invest in their designated businesses.
14 months down the line, each individual woman has a significant change story to tell.
Brenda Kajawo (34), one of the women who benefited from the intervention explained that the financial training she attended helped her to understand what profit is so much that she has never spent anything from her business capital. The lady stated that this has helped her to think of ways of boosting her baking business which is now making a profit of MK 10,000 to MK 12,000 a day.
“YONECO should continue reaching out to more women with financial literacy training sessions and I strongly believe that this is the only way women can become economically empowered” explained Brenda.
Sekanawo Kuwali (41) hails from Manje township in Blantyre and she is among the women who are also benefitting from the economic empowerment activities. Previously, Sekanawo used to sell fruits and her stock was not big enough to earn her a decent living. Today, Sekanawo owns a grocery store in her area and she has a shopkeeper. Sekanawo also explained that within the period, she managed to boost her initial business venture.
“It’s good that we have a savings and loans group which helps me to access loans and increase my business capital,” stated Sekanawo.
So far, the 84 women who were trained in financial literacy have formed 6 savings and loans groups.