The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has empowered 27 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors with K54, 000 in Kalumbila district in North-western province.
The ILO made this gesture at a handover ceremony of the GBV start-up kits in Kalumbila yesterday.
Kalumbila District Commissioner, Robinson Kalota, who graced the ceremony, said government is working with the United Nations (UN) agencies such as the ILO to reduce poverty amongst victims of GBV.
“In the quest to reduce poverty amidst the GBV victims, the Zambian government in conjunction with UN joint programmes on GBV has provided the start-up funds under the Get Ahead for Women in Enterprise…I am glad to mention that the ILO, which is a UN agency, supplemented the much needed logistical support,” Mr. Kalota said.
He explained that the programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services through the department of community development in the district.
“So far, 27 GBV survivors were identified and trained in various entrepreneurships by staff from the department of community development,” he said.
He stated that each beneficiary is to receive K2, 000 as start-up capital.
“The 27 women are receiving a start-up capital worth K2, 000 each to help them start up various entrepreneurship businesses such as buying and selling beans, maize and vegetables as well as keeping chickens and many more,” he said.
Mr. Kalota observed that victims of gender based violence are usually socially and economically affected adding that this hampers economic development at household and national levels.
He appreciated the ILO for the support rendered towards supporting survivors of GBV.
“Allow me to thank the ILO for the support of K54, 000 rendered to the gender based violence survivors in Kalumbila district as well as the active role played by Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in this programme,” he said.
Mr. Kalota pointed out that the empowerment is an eye opener to others who may still be facing GBV.
“This is an eye opener to others who are still facing GBV for we all know that many cases have remained unreported especially among the men folk, who still take it that it is a shame to report GBV cases when they are beaten and ill-treated in their homes,” Mr. Kalota said.
He encouraged the community in the area to be vigilant and report all cases of GBV to the nearest relevant authorities.
Meanwhile, Kalumbila District Community Development Officer, Ritah Makupa urged the beneficiaries to put the money to good use.
“We urge you our able women to go and plough back this money, invest it very well,” Ms. Makupa said.
And speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Theresa Kabinji thanked government and ILO for the empowerment.
“Thank you to government and ILO for this money and training in entrepreneurship…most importantly the start-up capital,” she said.
Ms. Kabinji said the start-up capital will help the women to contribute to economic development at district and national level.
She has however appealed to government and ILO to provide more training.
“We appeal that we are given more training, like the savings training…this will help to aid our businesses and also to continue with our business,” she said.
Ms. Kabinji also appealed that more vulnerable women in the district be given the same opportunity of empowerment.