JB inspires confidence at Youth conference

Malawi Vice President Joyce Banda on Friday graced the Youth Movement for Development (YOMODE) Annual General Conference (AGC) with a call to the youths of Malawi to desist from indulging in violent acts but instead unite and extremely work hard to improve their livelihoods.

Banda said the youths in Malawi have the potential to actively and positively contribute to the social and economic development of their own communities and the country but lacked the necessary moral, material and financial support to realize fully that potential.

The VP, who is the founder of the youth NGO, said she realizes that the youths are leaders of today and tomorrow hence needed support in every aspect to make them better leaders.

Joyce Banda: Grace Youth Movement for Development conference

“This was the motivation behind my founding of YOMODE,” said Banda.

She bemoaned that the youths in Africa and in Malawi, in particular, are forced into early marriages because of idleness and poverty within the family set-up when their friends in Europe and other developed countries continue to acquire various skills within the comfort of their parents’ homes and in university “when they are above 20 years old”.

“The youths here have nothing to do; they tend to marry at a very early age and bear children because they have nothing to do and that parents want to do away with them because of abject poverty.

“It is for this reason that I decided to form this NGO as part of the Joyce Banda Foundation International to empower the youth through various initiatives such as vocational training, soft loans and facilitating recreational activities such as sports to discourage our youths across the country from including in immoral behaviours.”

She said about 620,000 youths across Malawi are involved in one way or the other in the YOMODE movement.

Banda, who is also the founding President of the People’s Party (PP) told hundreds of youths at Robin’s Park in the commercial capital, Blantyre, that through YOMODE, the youths are involved in community development initiatives for the benefit of their respective communities.

YOMODE also imparts vocational and entrepreneurial skills to the youths, she said.

On Joyce Banda Foundation International, she said it has, for years now, been implementing programmes in agriculture, with emphasis on organic manure, community development, orphan care through the provision of food and nutrition, free primary and secondary education for the vulnerable and orphans and care for the orphans.

The Foundation also provides livestock and hens and chicken to women for both nutrition and commercial purposes as a means of economically empowering them.

“Today, I make a pledge to continue helping the vulnerable, the needy and the disadvantaged. I may not reach out or satisfy the needs of all these groups and as such I beseech the Lord’s indulgence to reduce the suffering of the people,” she said.

YOMODE Country Director, Wyson Sumaili paid “special tribute”  to the founder, saying it was through her foresight and vision that YOMODE had grown in “breadth and width” across the country.

He said the fully-parked Robin’s Hall was testimony to how effective and popular YOMODE had grown over the few years of its existence.

Sumaili said the VP’s presence at the YOMODE AGC, re-invigorated their resolve to work even harder as the youths, to attain self-development and self-reliance to positively contribute to the social, economic as well as political development of the country.

Also speaking at the function, among other YOMODE officials, Edith Akridge who is Joyce Banda Foundation CEO thanked Banda for her passion for the welfare and well-being of the youths in Malawi and said as a mother NGO, Joyce Banda Foundation would not fail her by ensuring that her long-term vision for the youths is fully realized.

According to Sumaili, YOMODE, which was founded in 2010, is set to launch a Youth Development Centre at Kameza in Blantyre where vocational skills training in carpentry, brick-laying, mechanics, among others will be offered. The centre will also have mini stadium and gym, he said.

Joyce Banda at the conference

Sumaili addressing the conference

Brown Mpinganjira joined Banda an other PP leaders at the youth conference

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