Opportunity International has drilled women and youths in village savings and loans groups in Rumphi District in tailoring and baking to empower them economically.
In an interview on Wednesday, Opportunity International programmes manager Generose Dziko said the initiative was one way of addressing unemployment among women and youths in the district.
She said: “We want women and youths to start their own businesses to support their families.
“We are optimistic that they will employ others in their businesses.”
An apprentice in tailoring, Atupele zikhwekhwe, from Kamukhumba Village, Tradition Authority (T/A) Mwalweni, said it is good to acquire vocational skills as jobs are difficult to come by.
“I can now make bags, masks and others. I am confident that by the end of the training, I will be able to make many things,” she said.
Another trainee Vitumbiko Kumwenda from T/A Mwamlowe who learned hairdressing, said he now owns a barbershop in the area.
With funding from Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprise programme, Opportunity International works with 371 village savings and loans groups in T/As Mwamlowe and Mwalweni in the district, training them in business management, financial literacy and life skills.
The organisation has introduced a new vocational skills component and six groups have been picked in the pilot phase.