BY PRINCE HENDERSON
At least 3000 youths are set to be enrolled into Catholic Technical Colleges to learn various vocational and entrepreneur skills, thanks to a project dubbed Hope for Youth, implemented by the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).
National Coordinator for the project, Cresentia Kansale says the project which is being funded by the European Union (EU) through Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is targeting youths of all denominations including those living with disabilities.
“The project is aimed at empowering women and vulnerable groups through vocational and entrepreneurship skills education. The project therefore is promoting equitable and non-gender-biased access and retention in five targeted vocational colleges,” said Kansale during an awareness meeting on the recruitment exercise of project beneficiaries for Andiamo and Namitembo Technical Colleges in Balaka and Zomba districts respectively.
Other Technical Colleges earmarked for the project include Namitete in Lilongwe, Mitengo in Thyolo and Thondwe Village Polytechnic in Zomba.
Kamsale said the project will also strengthen the capacities and infrastructures or linkages of five vocational training colleges to deliver relevant and quality Technical Entrepreneurship Vocation, Education Training (TEVET) and support skills to meet the labour market demands of the construction sector.
“We will later enhance opportunities especially for female and vulnerable group students in the target areas to complete their vocational education and to secure employment or self-employment, “she said.
Group Village Headman Matola of Traditional Authority Sawali in Balaka commended the Catholic Church through its development arm, CADECOM for the initiative.
He said the project will among others, reduce the crime rate and promote self-reliance among the youth.
“We commend you because you are not only recruiting young people from your Church but youths of all denominations. Again, we have a lot of disabled people in this area and by considering them in this project, that is commendable indeed,” said Matola.
President Arthur Peter Mutharika in 2015 launched the community technical college concept in the Southern Region when he officially opened Naminjiwa Community Technical College in Phalombe.
According to the government concept, community technical colleges are meant to endow young people in the country with different skills for them to create their own employment and reduce the high levels of unemployment in the country.
CADECOM is implementing the project with the tune of 1,092,303 Euros for the period of three years.