Elicy Phiri is a 20 year old girl born in a family of 6 with 4 girls and 2 boys. Regardless of her parents’ low income status, she still made it as far as Malawi School Certificate (MSCE). However her certificate could not earn her a place at any University in the country. Elicy quickly decided to explore other options of what she can study and that which would make her earn a living be independent and support her siblings.
Like most girls from below average families, Elicy lacked some essentials such as bathing and washing soap, not to talk of sanitary pads. Consequently for her, socialization with peers became a challenge. It was uncomfortable for her to mingle with friends without a proper bath and clean clothes. Worst case scenarios for Elicy were during her menses. Lack of such essentials in life are some of the challenges Elicy shares with most Malawian young women.
An encounter with one of her friends in the neighbourhood that was studying with CJBL in electrical installation changed Elicy’s hope for the future as she encouraged her to enroll for the training which basically targeted disadvantaged youth to equip them with construction related courses at a low cost through an EU funded project called Constructing Jobs Building Lives (CJBL). This project was implemented by SOS Childrens Villages Malawi, Habitat for Humanity and The children fund also known as Green Malata.
Elicy took heed of the advice and enrolled for the Electrical and Solar installation course at the SOS Vocational Trainig Center under the CJBL project.
Elicy is now a skilled welder who makes different products from steel and earns some money from this trade. She is a very happy young woman as this has greatly changed her life as well as her perception towards trades like Welding and Fabrication.
She feels young girls must never shun away from trades such as Welding and Fabrication. “Towns and cities are growing, this means there is a lot of demand for such services, and this is as good as employment because I get money enough to support my needs and those of my other family members” explains excited Elicy.