The District Youth Officer for Thyolo District Council, Doreen Mbendera has expressed the need for gender mainstreaming approach in the implementation of Hope for Youth project being championed by the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).
Cadecom is implementing Hope for Youth Project in five Catholic Technical Colleges namely: include Namitete in Lilongwe, Mitengo in Thyolo, and Thondwe Village Polytechnic and Namitembo in Zomba.
Speaking at a day-long training for Cadecom staffs who will be implementing the project at Mitengo Technical College, Mbendera said gone are the days when women and girls are regarded as subjects rather they should equally be treated like men.
She said women or girls just like men should strive to take up vocational jobs in technical colleges and get skills in courses like carpentry, break laying and plumbing.
“Let this project engage more women to have the much needed knowledge in vocational skills just like men do. Who said women cannot do what men do. I am sure women can take up the challenge if given a chance, “said Mbendera.
She said women or girls should also be ready to demonstrate that they can do hence win the trust of the donor community and those championing the campaign for women and girls empowerment.
At least 3000 youths are set to be enrolled into Catholic Technical Colleges to learn various vocational and entrepreneur skills, thanks to the financial and technical support from European Union (EU) through Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).
The project is targeting youths of all denominations including those living with various disabilities and also HIV/Aids.
“The project is aimed at empowering women and vulnerable groups through vocational and entrepreneurship skills education. The project therefore is promoting equitable and non-gender-based access and retention in five targeted vocational colleges,” said Cresentia Kansale, project officer for Cadecom.
She encourage women to take part in this project as beneficiaries by not being let down that vocational trainings skills are only meant for men.
She said the initiative is complementing government’s effort in uplifting the lives of the youth through technical colleges where they are trained various vocational skills.
CADECOM is implementing the project with the tune of 1,092,303 Euros for the period of three years.