Link Youth With Opportunities -Mapemba
As Malawi continues to align its strategies towards the 2063 Agenda, one of the partners that support government in developing, implementing, or monitoring policies, Health Policy Plus, says youths can contribute better to the agenda if they are linked to opportunities.
Health Policy Plus Deputy Director, Sandra Mapemba, who was reacting to achievements that some youths in Mangochi under Thema Honey Producers and Marketing have attained, as government has now certified them as a co-operative, said giving the youth right information is one thing, but linking them to opportunities, constantly supporting their thinking, and guiding them, is more important.
She said from a mere youth club attached to Youth Friendly Health Services (YFHS) facility, Thema Honey Producers is a clear example that youths have all the potential, but most of them lack guidance and linkages.
“We did not give them any capital to start their business, we just guided them with technical thinking and mentorships on business thinking,” said Mapemba, whose organization has walked through with the youths since it started working with them about three years ago.
Mapemba said most of the times people totally ignore what the youths think and like, and she added that introducing the youth to what society wishes them to be is an ideal thing.
Pilirani Mackson, Chairperson for Thema Honey Producers and Marketing Co-operative, said he is a happy person to see that what started as a small thing is now recognized by government despite that they had no monetary support.
Mackson said now with 60 members, 42 girls and 18 boys from 10 youth clubs, they are able to produce 1000 kilograms of honey and also buy and sell produces from other farmers, which he said is far from where Health Policy Plus find them.
“As Thema co-operative, we are now doing a number of things, including processing, packaging, and labeling our honey, buying and selling maize, soybean, and tree planting,” said Mackson after getting the certificate.
Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati, handed over the certificate during an economic Empowerment fair in the district.
According to Kaliati, government wants communities to be empowered and contribute to the social-economic development of the country, as sometimes people unknowingly accuse government of failing to do its part because they don’t know that they are the cause of the mess by failing to do their own part.