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Malawi, Africa

New carpentry skills

New hope for future

Doris Chitsulo lost both her parents to HIV/AIDS when she was 11 and ended up as a child laborer to support her seven siblings. When she was 16 ARISE withdrew her from child labor and taught her carpentry and joinery skills. She now has the opportunity of a sustainable household income.

In Ntcheu District, Malawi, 16 year-old Doris Chitsulo lost both her parents to HIV/AIDS when she was 11. As a consequence of the breakdown of the extended family and informal social protection systems, relatives of her father and mother took most family possessions leaving the children destitute. As the first-born, Doris immediately dropped out of school to fend for her seven siblings. She ended up engaging in child labor activities in the tobacco production industry, earning hardly enough to meet the family's basic needs. This led to further deterioration of livelihood, increased poverty, and further absenteeism of her siblings from school.

Through ARISE, Doris was withdrawn from child labor, however she was not able to reenter the school system at the same level she left because of her age. Instead she was incorporated into an initiative established by ARISE where she elected to learn carpentry and joinery, a widely male-dominated craft in Malawi. The program is fully funded complete with learning equipment, materials and working gear. In addition, the training equips the youth with entrepreneurship and enterprise development skills. Upon graduation, the students are provided with start-up capital. To ensure sustained income for the household and to allow Doris and her siblings to stay in school and concentrate on their studies, the project identified a close relative to Doris, trained her in business skills training, and provided start-up capital for a fish trading business.


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