STEP and African Vision Malawi (AVM) on July 17th launched a bursary programme which is meant to support over 140 vulnerable youths with ages between 16 and 32 in Lilongwe and Dowa districts.
The beneficiaries will be trained at Sam’s Training Village in various trades such as carpentry and joinery, basic electronics, tailoring, solar installation and maintenance, earth building or super adobe building. Sam’s Training Village is operated under African Vision Malawi previously known as Landirani Trust.
These beneficiaries have been selected through community leaders around the training village and the bursary scheme will run for 18 months with each cohort running for four months.
According to STEP Team Leader Arthur Shears, it is a proud moment – seeing the local youth about to get the skills that will uplift their lives.
“As STEP in collaboration with African Vision Malawi and the Government of Malawi, we are delighted seeing this progress in terms of promoting skills development amongst the youth and it is our hope that after the 18 months with over 140 trained, the communities surrounding this training village will never be the same, they will be further along the road of development” said Shears.
Also speaking before the launch of the bursary was Director of the Department of Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education and Training-(DTVT), Mr. Aubrey Matemba, who was guest of honour. The Director emphasized government’s commitment to working with various partners to help the youth in the country gain technical skills and contribute towards the country’s economic growth.
One of the beneficiaries in the first cohort Patricia Jester said she is grateful that after writing entry examinations, she has been selected to be trained in basic electronics.
“After this training, I will use the skills to do small piece work and establish a business which will enable me to support my brothers and sisters and be economically independent. I am thankful to African Vision Malawi through the STEP programme for giving us the opportunity to gain the skills” said Jester.
Jester who is physically challenged, is a first born in a family of three girls and two boys from T/A Kayembe in Dowa and stays with their mother only.
UNESCO through STEP in partnership with AVM with funding from the European Union is implementing this bursary scheme to bring hope to disadvantaged individuals and families through skills development.