December 8, 2022

COVAW Rescues Women and Youth Businesses after Covid-19 Slump

A section of Fish mongers receiving cooling facilities to boost their businesses. (Photo By Munira Shaban)

By Munira Shaban

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW) organization is rescuing women and youths whose businesses collapsed or suffered the impact of COVID 19 pandemic.

The intervention was necessitated by the rising number of gender based violence (GBV) cases in Kwale county.

The empowerment program has focused Msambweni, Lungalunga and Kinango constituencies and specifically targets vulnerable business women and youth in the communities.

Speaking to journalists during an interview, COVAW program officer Sandra Chivumbe said that the initiative comes after Aga Khan foundation, the donor, came up with the proposal of assisting vulnerable women in the community whose businesses were impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most of these women and youths lost their jobs and businesses, a development that made cases of GBV in the community rise due to stress. As an organisation we are working to make sure the numbers of GBV cases in society are minimal,”Chivumbe said.  

Chivumbe noted that they chose on having the program in the three constituencies due to the high number of GBV cases recorded from the areas.

She also said that the initiative INUA MAMA, JENGA JAMII has assisted over 40 women and youths where we have issued cooler boxes, parasols, among other equipments that will assist the small scale business women.

A section of fish mongering women taking part in Business skills empowerment workshop (Photo By Munira Shaban)

“In the small scale businesses, we are mainly targeting fish mongers, groceries, fruit vendors, small kiosks among others,” Chivumbe said.

AbdulMajid Mwinyi, a community social service provider, also stated that with Covaw and other organizations they have been creating awareness on GBV amongst community and how it can be tackled.

“We also give skills on how one can improve their businesses by acquiring loans from micro finance enterprise,” Mwinyi said.

He noted that cases of GBV have reduced in the area compared to previous years due to the various interventions by those organisations.

Victor Mutinda Covaw officer engaging women and youths in Ramisi on how to improve their small scale businesses(Photo By Munira Shaban)

“We’ve noted an improvement on the state of GBV cases when we compare to past years; we can say that since most organisations have come up with engagement and sensitization programs, more and people GBV affected persons are willingly reporting such cases to relevant authorities for action,” he said.

Sofia Abdalla, a fruits vendor and also a beneficiary of the program, said that the skills she has received are very important, and they will assist her boost business.

“The sensitization program we have gone through are of great importance and when we apply them in our businesses, then we will get a boost and enlarge it,” she said.

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