At least 3000 youths are set to be enrolled into Catholic technical colleges to learn various Entrepreneurial and Vocational 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.
Kansale said the project will also strengthen the capacities and infrastructure of five vocational training colleges to deliver quality Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and 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 would among other things, 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.
CADECOM which is implementing the project over a period of three years said the project is worth Euros 1,092,303.