The Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (AYISE), a local non-governmental organization, recently implemented a training programme for 46 youths drawn from Mulanje district in line with the Government of Malawi’s Prevention, Protection, Withdrawal and Rehabilitation of Working Children through Education and Vocation Skills Training project.
The US Department of Labour (USDoL) supports the International Labour Organization (ILO) Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) to finance implementation of project under the Government of Malawi National Action Plan (NAP). This project is being implemented in Kasungu, Lilongwe Mulanje and Mzimba.
According to Christopher Misuku, AYISE Project Manager, the Prevention, Protection, Withdrawal and Rehabilitation of Working Children through Education and Vocation Skills Training project intends to build the capacity of the structures both at district and community levels to effectively address child labour and related challenges to create a child labour free zone in the areas the project is being implemented and later at district level.
“The project is supporting children who are removed and prevented from child labour by supporting them to attain formal education through mainstreaming and direct support to those already in the system.
“The support has increased enrolment thereby increasing pressure, making it difficult for primary schools to adequately deal with existing and emerging challenges,” Misuku told Nyasa Times in an interview.
He said in Mulanje, the project is being implemented by Active Youth AYISE, which is working in the area of Senior Chief Nthiramanja focusing on four village headmen, Chonde, Nthiramanja, Kululira and Abunu.
According to the Project Manager, the training programme had targeted youths who had successfully completed a six-month vocational skills training. These youths are to put into practice what they had learnt and that among others they will have to venture into their own businesses thus the training programme, according to Misuku.
“They were trained on how they could run businesses including building their capacity to remain sustainable. The business management training is therefore a tool to prepare them for the various challenges they might face out there,” said Misuku.
He said in total, 52 people were trained, 21 girls, 25 boys, two Group Village Headwomen, and four members of the Community Child Labour Committee that plays a monitoring role overseers of the business that these youths will be conducting at the Service Outlet Centre (a place where the services will be offered).
“They will also ensure that there is sustainability of the project. It is expected that these youths will indirectly support their siblings to attend primary education thereby preventing child labour,” he said.
District Commissioner (DC) for Mulanje, Jack Nguluwe urged on the participants to fully utilize both the knowledge and skills attained in various trades to produce and provide quality products and services.
He said the District Assembly can make a deliberate decision to buy products and services from the youths provided quality is ensured.
“We have the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Local Development Fund (LDF) Projects. With approval of the procurement committee, we can buy from you in the implementation of these projects as a way of supporting you to succeed in busisnes but that would only happen if your products and services are of high quality,” the DC emphasized.
He thanked AYISE for its “noble work” in the district, which he described as “very visible, whose fruits everyone can see”. He said some NGOs “only talk on the radio and produce excellent reports “when there is no real work on the ground”.
He also commended the donors of the project should also be commended for supporting such a good initiative, saying it would be important if the project could be extended for another year and in all T/As in the district.
The project was worth MK30 million and started in May 2011. It ends in October. According to Misuku, there are high probabilities of extension subject to an ILO team that visits the country in September.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :