By Pauline Kaude:
Survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Ntchisi District have been provided with grants to enable them start small scale businesses and support their households.
The grants are being provided under the Spotlight Initiative, a Malawi Government programme funded by European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to eliminate all forms of violence against women through local nongovernmental organisations working in the district.
Speaking during disbursement of the grants to second cohort of beneficiaries at Traditional Authority Kalumo’s headquarters, Ntchisi Youth Organisation and Development (NOYD) Programmes Manager, Clement Zindondo said the beneficiaries are given loans ranging from K100, 000 to K200, 000 each.
He said the beneficiaries are identified through the District Social Welfare Office, District Hospital and structures like Community Victim Support Units.
“Apart from starting small scale businesses, we also encourage beneficiaries to join Village Savings and Loan groups in their respective areas so that they can properly manage their savings, said Zindondo.
He said the loans transform lives, adding that most first cohort beneficiaries have had their lives transformed.
One of the beneficiaries, Mphatso Jube from Chipeni Village who said she walked out of her marriage as she could not endure abuse from her husband anymore, said she was happy that she now has capital to set up a business.
She added that she intends to open a tearoom in her village using the K100, 000-loan she has received.
From the proceeds of the business, Jube said she would be able to provide basic needs for herself and her two children since their father no longer supports them.
Ntchisi District Social Welfare Officer, Wilson Milanzi said economically empowering GBV survivors is a welcome development as most of them struggle to make ends meet after moving out of abusive homes.
He said he was optimistic the beneficiaries would make good use of the money they had received.
The loans have been provided to GBV survivors in Traditional Authorities Kalumo and Chilooko in the district.