By Moses Nyirenda- MANA:
Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare has hailed a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as Our Aim Foundation (OAF) for striving to empower women in Mchinji district in quest for them to remain economically independent.
The foundation has holistic community centre at Tongozala village in the Area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkanda in Mchinji district where among other services it offers tailoring and designing trainings to women from 126 villages in Mchinji, in order for them to open up tailoring businesses and remain financially independent.
In an interview, Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Gender Affairs Department Deputy Director, Alice Mkandawire said that what OAF is doing is complementing governments efforts aimed at empowering women in the country.
“As government we have policies and strategies in place aimed at empowering women economically, for instance we have national gender policy which focuses on women economic empowerment.
“In addition to that we have also national action plan on women economic empowerment, therefore what Our Aim Foundation is doing in Mchinji is simply complementing efforts laid by government in a bid to empower women economically in the country,” Mkandawire said.
She expressed confidence that, the initiative which OAF is currently undertaking would help to uplift economic status of women in Mchinji.
“I believe what is being done by the foundation would assist women to become economically independent, hence the women would be able to support their families financially such as paying school fees for their kids as well as buying family basic needs like, food and soap,” she said.
In his remarks, OAF Project Manager, Ishmael Kadango said that the foundation is devoted to empower women in Mchinji by giving them various skills that would enable them to remain financially empowered.
“We want to make sure that women in Mchinji are economically empowered, for this reason we are providing them with various skills such as tailoring and designing.
“After gaining the skills we want them to open up businesses or get employed in accordance with their skills so that they can remain economically independent,” Kadango said.
In her comment, one of the women who joined tailoring and designing training at OAF community centre in Mchinji in April 2020, Janet Tonje said that with the skills which she has attained at the centre she has managed to open a tailoring shop at her home.
“With the skills which I have gained so far I have managed to open a tailoring shop at my home where I do tailoring business, through this business I earn over K30, 000 per month and I use this money to buy soap, relish, salt and other basic needs for my family,” she said.
Apart from tailoring training centre, OAF at its community centre in Mchinji has also computer training centre, Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) and a medical clinic which provide free services to community members.