By: Stella Zulu
The Catholic Development Commission of Malawi (CADECOM) of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi trained Chiefs and religious leaders on their roles in the sensitization of young people on the importance of technical education for personal, community and national development.
The Commission conducted the trainings as a requirement of the European Union (EU) funded project called Hope for Youths in five Catholic Technical Colleges of Namitete, Andiamo, Namitembo, Thondwe village polytechnic and Mitengo. These are the implementing centers of Hope for Youths project from which eighteen community mobile technical colleges are to be established.
The training was officially opened by the Director of Social Development of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Mr. Carsterns Mulume at Namitete technical college.
In his speech, the Director asked the chiefs and religious leaders to help in identifying suitable youths to benefit from the project. He called for a change of mentality in which he encouraged female youths to take up jobs that are perceived to be for men.
“The mentality has been that technical education which includes carpentry and joinery, plumbing and electrical installation is for men only. We should change this mindset in our female youths and help them believe they too, can do such work. We should also change the mindset that technical education is not profitable by encouraging that it should be taken as business.
He continued to say that we should also help the disabled youths to realize that there is always something they can do because white color jobs are limited these days and other countries like China and India are developed because of trainings like these.
The Hope for Youths Projects Officer, Cresensia Kamsale said the project aims at strengthening and increasing access to informal and formal Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) facilities and systems to female and vulnerable groups.
“This will be achieved by improving equitable access to relevant quality vocational education and skills training, strengthening capacities and infrastructures or linkages of the five vocational training colleges to deliver relevant and quality TEVET training and supportive skills to meet the labour demands and vulnerable students in the target areas should complete their vocational education and secure employment or self-employment.” she said.
Mr. Mulanje, the TEVETA regional service center manager for southern region said Hope for Youths project will increase access and equity to skills development education through informal training which will increase the TEVET sector in Malawi. He commended CADECOM for involving TEVETA in the project.
“CADECOM took a good step in involving TEVETA in the implementation of Hope for Youths project because this will make sure they comply with TEVET Act and meet the required standards for technical education trainings as required by TEVETA as a regulatory authority of technical education in the country”. Said Mr. Mulanje
In her reaction, group village headman Maganiza from Thyolo said as chiefs, they have received the project with joy and appreciation considering that it will help those who cannot afford formal technical education.
“As chiefs, we would like to commit our total support to this project. This is a good development not only to the students who will be the direct beneficiaries of this project but also to our communities and the country at large. We thank all those who are taking part in different ways in this project.” She said.
Hope for Youths project is being implemented for three years by CADECOM with funding amounting to 1,092,303 Euros from European Union (EU) through Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).