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Malawi: Empower Women to Lower HIV/Aids Rates - U.S Government
by Martin Chiwanda
June 8, 2015

Nsanje — The United States government says women who are skilled and economically empowered are more likely to have lower rates of HIV/Aids, sexually transmitted infections and enjoy greater equality of life in society.

US Embassy Management Officer, Geraldine Thibodeau made the remarks at Chididi in the area of Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje when she inaugurated a project which is being implemented by Sustainable Rural Community Development Organization (SURCOD).

The project is dedicated to helping women develop their entrepreneurial and income generation skills through tailoring in the area.

Thibodeau said recently, women across Africa have become more successful entrepreneurs than in the past.

She said data has shown that when women are economically empowered, communities and countries become more prosperous.

"It is most often women that shoulder the burden of care in African families. Therefore, we believe that investing in women, benefits entire families, communities and nations," said Thibodeau.

The United States Embassy Management Officer added that providing women with skills to earn money and support their families is the key to breaking chains of poverty and to creating opportunities for sustainable community growth.

"Therefore, it is essential that we continue to support every woman in her efforts to attain economic independence," she said.

While promising total support towards skills development initiatives for women, the American embassy official said American people are happy to help people who help themselves in order to uplift their livelihood.

She then congratulated 14 women who graduated after completing a six-month training in tailoring at Chididi Women Skills Centre.

"You are making us proud. You have done it because you had the passion to acquire the skills that can help to mold your future," Thibodeau said.

SURCOD Executive Direct, January Mvula thanked the US for the support towards the project.

Mvula said his organization is aiming at improving the capacity and skills of women to create business opportunities.

In June 2014, United States Embassy provided a grant worth K2.5 Million to enable SURCOD procure 15 sewing machines, tailoring materials and train 15 women in tailoring.

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