Malawi: Youth Plead for Contracts

Thyolo — Hope for the Youth project graduates have asked local councils and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) implementing infrastructural projects to consider offering contracts to the youths with technical and vocational skills as one way of empowering them.

"How do we become entrepreneurs if we are not given contracts to raise our capital base?

"Various players carrying out infrastructural projects should trust and involve us in their activities," said Thomas Asuwema, an electrical and installation graduate.

Asuwema was speaking Saturday in an interview at Mberenga Primary School ground in Thyolo when Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) had a campaign to woo youth into the project's technical and vocational skills training.

Coordinator for Hope for the Youth project Crencensia Kansale said as most youths are reluctant to enrol for the training, there is need for those that graduated in the previous trainings to inspire others.

Kansale said the ECM organises netball and football bonanzas to attract more youths to come and hear messages about the project so that they register in large numbers.

"We've problems in enrolling the youth. We wonder why they are not interested to join. The bonanzas are a deliberate move to entice them to come and register," Kansale said.

Group Village Headman Mberenga said the project was transforming lives of the youth in his area, saying the graduates were, among other things, able to fend for themselves.

He said the low registration turn up may be due to upfront registration fee of K5, 000 required by the project.

"Most of the youth are willing to register but it's not easy for them to raise that amount," Mberenga said.

Hope for the Youth project offers technical and vocational skills training in carpentry and joinery, bricklaying, electrical installation and plumbing.

The project is funded by the European Union.

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