Youths need to be empowered in order for Malawi to develop. These were words of wisdom from Dr Lilian Chikankheni, who was the guest of honour at Malawi Lake Basin Programme youth graduation, which took place at Stephanos Vocational School in Blantyre.
The youths were supported by Malawi Lake Basin Programme (MLBP) with the aim to empower them financially and improve their livelihood. This was the third time for MLBP to sponsor youths in attaining vocational skills.
The first cohort to benefit had 36 youths, while the second and third had 50 youths each.
“From here you need to work as a team. There is power in team work. You will find competition out there, but as long as you support each other you will succeed. Make sure you work hard and produce quality things,” she said.
The youth were trained in electrical and solar installation, designing and tailoring, carpentry and bricklaying and textile and fashion design.
A student representative John Chikuwo said attaining the vocational skills is a gate way to financial independence and improved livelihood.
“I am very to graduate today with these skills which I will use to improve my life and even support my family financially,” he said.
Malawi Lake Basin Business Programme Coordinator John Magombo said 80% of the youths from the areas MLBP operates have nothing to do to earn a living. He said they support the youths so that they are empowered.
“We are empowering the youths with vocational skills so that they can stand on their own economically,” he said.
Upon graduating the youths were provided with startup tools in their respective industry like sewing machines.
This year alone, the implementation of this activity has cost about K20 million.