The Catholic Diocese of Karonga has said the escalating rate at which youth in the country are engaging in violence can be halted if they can be equipped with skills that would, subsequently, keep them busy.
The Diocese’s caritas secretary, Mwawi Shaba, stressed the point during the award of certificates to 142 youth drawn from violent prone areas in Karonga, Rumphi and Chitipa district
“A greater part of the country’s population is occupied by the youth who have nothing to do hence they opt for violent acts particularly in Karonga. This initiative, therefore, was meant to groom the youth to become reliable citizens of this nation,” said Shaba.
He said the youth had been trained in the fields of carpentry and joinery, bricklaying and tailoring, fashion and designing.
“It is the plan of Bishop Mtumbuka to reach out to as many youths who have been left out by the formal vocation training programmes,” said Shaba.
He then pleaded with TEVETA to consider training the graduates in entrepreneurship skills so they could be able to sustain themselves through the sale of their products.
Phillip Mwangolera, speaking on behalf of the graduating students admitted that he was one of the troublemakers but said the training would help him a great deal.
“I was one of the most trouble makers in Mwenilondo who could accept bribes from organisers of violent acts to incite violence, but now I have something to fend for myself and relatives. My plea to the Diocese and TEVETA is that this should not be a once off initiative,” he said
TEVETA Executive Director, Wilson Nkhoma, said he was pleased to have partnered with the Diocese to train the youth in various vocational skills.
He also commended the trainers for tirelessly training the youth through competent-based skills, who were also trained further to become competent trainers.
“As TEVETA, we believe that the youth can employ themselves through vocational skills and become self-reliant if they can put their heart and effort on such skill without actually advertising themselves but through quality products,” said Nkhoma.
Speaking on behalf of Bishop Mtumbuka, Cyprian Ngoma, who was also guest of honour, said the Church believes that “the graduates will now become instruments of peace in the society.”
He added that the Diocese has only given them an eye opener by giving them certificates but the journey to achieve their goals still remained in their hands.
The training, Nyasa Times has learnt, was hugely made possible with assistance from sisters of the Archdiocese of Bamberg and Archdiocese of Freiburg in Germany.
142 out of 150 who enrolled graduated.
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