About 7400 out-of-school youth have been given a lifeline at the end of the Save the Children’s Youth in Action (YiA) Project which was being implemented in three districts of Kasungu, Ntchisi and Mchinji.
The youth, who had no hope of contributing to the economic development of the country after dropping out of school, have been equipped with different skills through the project.
According to Save the Children’s Deputy Country Director, Stanley Phiri, the YiA Project which started in 2012, aimed at empowering rural out-of-school youth and improve their social economic status to help them to be self-reliant.
Phiri said through the project, the youth were given vocational skills in trades like tailoring and designs, fabrication and welding, carpentry and joinery, electrical and solar installation, and construction and brick laying.
He also said the project applied on-job training where the youth were attached to local artisans in their communities to learn the skills and later, started their own businesses.
The deputy country director said the fact that the youth make up a majority of the country’s population, it is them that will form the bedrock and basis of the sustainable development, hence the need to empower them.
“As young people transition into adulthood, their health, education and overall wellbeing are likely to have profound effects on the development of the country. If properly nurtured and supported, adolescents and youth can contribute to and even drive the social economic prosperity and stability of Malawi,” said Phiri.
Director of Youth in the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Vocational Training and Development, Judith Msusa, hailed the initiative by Save the Children, saying government considers the youth as paramount and they should not be ignored.
“Out of 17.2 million people in the country, 13 million are of the age group 10-35, therefore we have to invest in this age group. Government wants to have skilled young people so what Save the Children has done will help realize this,” said Msusa.
One of the beneficiaries of the project Rebecca Mtima, who had a chance of going for a vocational training at Bowe Technical School in Kasungu, said the project has given her a chance to contribute to the economic development of the country since she is going to start her own business.
Malawi has 84 per cent of the youth living in the rural areas. (Mana)