14,000 girls to benefit from GEWEL project

THERE are many cases of child marriages that take place in Nakonde district without the knowledge of relevant authorities. This vice has forced many girls to drop out of school.

MWAPE MWENYA, Lufwanyama
THE Girls Education Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) project is expected to empower 14,000 girls from vulnerable households with secondary education, the Ministry of Gender has said.

Permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale said the Poverty Profiling Index was the criterion used to identify the beneficiaries of the project, which will be implemented in 16 districts countrywide.

She was speaking in Lufwanyama in the company of officials from the World Bank and the other two ministries.
The team was in the Copperbelt district to meet the beneficiaries of the project and assess how it is being implemented.
Ms Mutale said the project, under the ‘Keep Girls in School’ component, is being spearheaded by the ministries of Gender, Community Development and Social Service, and General Education with financial support from the World Bank.
 “My ministry is coordinating the project. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services is the one identifying beneficiaries while the Ministry of General Education is providing school places for the girls,” Ms Mutale said.
She said the project is targeting families that are on social cash transfer who are unable to afford school fees for their children in secondary schools.
And 16-year-old Grade 10 pupil and mother of a five-month-old baby Victoria Lubange, a beneficiary of the project, thanked Government for giving her a second chance.
She said she is determined to complete her education.
Lubange, who dropped out of school last year because of pregnancy, said her mother, who is a widow, had not been able to pay for her school and that the father of her child had abandoned them.
She said her mother had been taking care of both her and her child.
World Bank social protection specialist Emily Weedon said she was impressed with the coordination among the ministries and the transparent manner in which the project is being implemented.


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