By Brian Longwe

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Save the Children International organisation in Malawi through its Youth in Action (YiA) program says that proper-utilization of young entrepreneurs is key to successful socio-economic development of the country.

This came to light in Lilongwe during a two-days learning event which the organisation conducted from 27-28 February 2018.

Save the Children Country Coordinator Tina Yu explained that the event with its theme; transforming young people’s lives through sustainable livelihoods programming, aimed at showcasing the YiA program model, demonstrate the achievements of the program and share key promising practices and lessons learnt.

Yu disclosed that entrepreneurs have high contribution to the country’s economic status hence probed for both Government and Non-governmental Organisations to invest in youth by providing them with adequate training and self-starter business equipment.

Yu explained “We know that youth occupies 60% of Malawi’s population but a large number of them are financially incapacitated. Many out-of-school boys and girls lack access to necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes that could support them to realise their dreams as agents of change.”

“YiA is working hand in hand with local government to invest in building capacity for rural young people’s foundational skills, social assets and knowledge, so that we produce a handful and resourceful entrepreneurs to build our nation.” She added.

Principal Secretary for the Ministry of labour, youth, sports and manpower development Joseph Mwandidya explained that as one way of promoting youth development, government is concentrating on community colleges to impart young boys and girls with different vocational skills so that they should be self-reliant entrepreneurs.

In an interview, one of YiA’s beneficiary from Kasungu, 18-year-old Tiyanjane Banda, applauded Save the Children for its interventions attributing that she is now able to support her family through a little money she gets from her welding business that was opened after attending the training.

With financial support from Mastercard Foundation, YiA, a six-year learning and livelihood program in Malawi was officially launched in 2012 with the aim to reach young people between the ages of 14 to 18 living in rural communities of Ntchisi, Mchinji and Kasungu districts in the central region of Malawi.

And so far the program has transformed lives of over 7000 youths in the outstated districts through vocational training such as carpentry, tailoring, brick laying, arts and beauty, among others.