Women’s empowerment in Malawi

This month saw the start of our exciting new project with our Malawi partner Foundation For Education And Social Development (FESODEV), providing technical and business skills training to women in their choice of three trades.

The project is taking place in Mchezi, Nalikule and surrounding communities on the outskirts of Lilongwe.  In this region, the prevalence of female-headed households is high and girls are often prevented from completing their education due to early pregnancy, household responsibilities and the need to earn money through whatever means necessary, from seasonal work in industry to sex work. Opportunities for women to earn a safe and sustainable income are limited by lack of skills and qualifications, forced marriage, gender discrimination and attitudes and gender-based labour division.

Our one-year project with FESODEV will train 50 women in trades where women traditionally succeed or are not yet subject to gender bias.  Alongside vocational skills training and a three month work placement in either Tailoring, Hairdressing or Solar and Electrical Installation, the three groups of women will be taught critical literacy, numeracy and business development skills.  They will also receive Village Savings and Loan Association training, and all trainees will be encouraged to form savings groups.

During the project, trainees will invest in a number of activities to benefit the local community.  Tailoring trainees will produce 50 uniforms for students in the community primary school.  Solar technicians will install solar lights in the neighbouring schools, benefitting 200 students.  Hairdressing trainees will visit local schools and demonstrate hair styling on 30 students, encouraging more girls to consider hairdressing as a future occupation.

The community engagement will also help to showcase the women’s skills and products, with a view to extending their customer base after graduation.

At the end of the training the women will sit a nationally recognized trade examination, and each trainee will graduate equipped with a tool kit to help them establish their businesses.

If you would like to support training projects like this, please visit our donate page to make a donation or set up a recurring gift.

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February 2024


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