The Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) has revealed that it has been undertaking projects in Lusaka aimed at preventing women and girls from indulging in negative vices such as drug abuse and sexual activities.
YWCA programmes manager Mirriam Mwiinga disclosed that the association was working on two separate projects involving 10, 500 females.
She said one project known as Young Slum Dwellers was targeting close to 500 young women between the age of 15 and 24 in Linda and George compounds while the other known as Girls Empowerment Programme was targeting 10, 000 girls between the age of 10 and 19 in Misisi, Chawama, Chazanga and Chipata compounds.
Ms. Mwiinga said both projects involve empowering women with skills on how to tackle Gender Based Violence (GBV), issues of sexual reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition and financial literacy.
She said YWCA was also offering the young women life skills such as assertiveness, self-esteem, leadership and decision-making with regards to the way they relate with community members and handle themselves in the community.
Ms. Mwiinga said empowering young women with life skills would enable them make positive contributions to economic development.
“We sensitize the young women and girls on life skills which can help them to have a better livelihood and be able to make proper decisions in society.
“The two programmes are township based so that the young women do not stay idly by and indulge in all the negatives such as drug abuse, being found in drinking places and indulging in sexual activities,” she said.
Ms Mwiinga said once these young women are trained, they become better citizens and do not indulge in certain activities.
The Young Slum Dwellers project was introduced this year, and is scheduled to end in the next three years, while the Girls Empowerment Programme would end this year, after running for four years.