By Golden Kang’oma Junior, MANA
In an effort to promote girls education and reduce child marriages, Story Workshop Education Trust (SWET), with funding from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), recently drilled youth clubs and mother groups in Theatre for Development (TFD) and case documentation during a weeklong training.
The trained youths and the mother groups are expected to support girl child education through awareness activities and mentorship.
The training comes under United Nations Joint Program on Girls Education (UNJPGE) program which various UN agencies including UNICEF together with government are implementing in Salima, Mangochi and Dedza.
Speaking on the sidelines of the training, Project Coordinator for Story Workshop, Given Chichitike pointed out that the gesture is aimed at engaging girls in schools on issues that affect them as well sensitizing the masses on the importance of girl child education.
“We want to make sure that communities are engaged in decision making processes in the communities through TFD as it is much of community engagement.
So through drama, the communities will be given a platform to share issues that influence girls’ education in their areas as well as to identify viable solutions for the issues,” said Chichitike.
Chichitike added that this will also influence community leaders to be responsible for their subjects through encouraging girls to go to school.
In his sentiments, Primary Education Advisor (PEA) for Chipoka Zone, Raphion Njobvu said the initiative is very critical in supporting girls education in the district as it will help strengthen coordination, follow ups as well as recordkeeping and tracking of dropouts.
“In the past, youths and mother groups have been working so hard to make sure girls remain in school. However, its impact was not highly recognized because cases were not being documented, not followed up and there was less record keeping.
“So with the tools they have developed and the skills they have acquired, they will be able to bring out the required results,” said Njobvu.
Njobvu further noted that the initiative will help increase girls’ school retention as they will be encouraged by mother groups and youth clubs that will be operating in different areas.
Chariperson for Mtika Mother Group, Cecelia Chabvi hailed the initiative, saying it will make their work of encouraging girls to enroll and stay in school easy as a lot of awareness activities will be done by the youth clubs through drama.
At least, 12 youth clubs, 30 mother groups from education zones of Katelera, Ngodzi, LifidzI, Chipoka, Mgwilizano, Ngolowindo and Maganga benefited from the training.