Lack of vocational skills is one of the contributing factors to the shockingly high rate of unemployment among young people in Malawi. Consequently, this negatively translates into various socio-economic challenges including forced child marriages, unintended teen pregnancies, Gender Based Violence (GBV) among other things.

YONECO, in partnership with Malawi Girl Guides Association (MAGGA) is implementing a project in Mulanje district called Comprehensive Action for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW). Under this project, YONECO is providing free vocational skills training to adolescent girls and young women. Among other areas, the girls are being trained in tailoring, baking and welding.

Members of a girls’ youth club that was established in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkanda, Group Village head (GVH) Kaduya in the district opened up a bakery. The initiative was steered by two of the club members who attended a training in baking. The group started the business with a capital of MK 75,000 which the group members got after making some financial contributions.

Currently, the venture has proved to be lucrative so much the club has made a profit of MK 60,000 within the first two months of its existence. The profits that are being made are injected into the group’s Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) so that the members would easily access soft loans for other individual business ventures.

Violet Siakonde is a member of the club and she expressed satisfaction with a number of livelihood training opportunities which YONECO has been providing to members of her group over the last 4 years. Violet added that all members of her group are now able to venture into various Income Generating Activities (IGAs). Violet further stated that her peers are doing well in terms of sustaining their individual business ventures as well.

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