DAPP Mobile Vocational Skill Development College empowering Malawi youth

Malawi : Government is championing the establishment of the Community Technical College concept which are meant to scale up the opportunities for young people in the country to acquire vocational skills for them to create their own employment and a decent live and thereby also reduce the high levels of poverty in the country.

Speaking at a rally after touring and opening Naminjiwa Community Technical College, President Peter Mutharika said the colleges will create new skills, new businesses and new opportunities that will help develop the country adding that through the same, the country will be able to transform into an exporting nation and that the opening of the colleges show that there is progress in the nation’s development agenda.

DAPP Malawi with financial support from Sympany of the Netherlands and in collaboration with Ministry of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development has taken the vocational training concept further by launching the Mobile Vocational Workshop  which currently is operating in Mwanza district in the southern region of Malawi. The mobile workshop initiative, an innovative expansion of DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational school will complement Malawi government’s efforts to empower an ever increasing number of youth to become socially and economically self-sustainable and thereby able to provide for themselves and their families in a decent way.

Country Director for DAPP Malawi Lisbeth Thomsen says the mobile approach to vocational education and training essentially makes it available where those who need the vocational and life skills training the most live as this mode of training is particularly targeting groups in remote, rural regions since the youth here have little access to education and vocational training. “The key advantage of mobile vocational education and training is that it takes place in people’s immediate vicinity and therefore makes it easier for women and girls as well as other disadvantaged groups to take part,” Says Thomsen.

Like most girls in rural Malawi Grace Wiliamu did not go very far with her education. She became pregnant when she was in her seventh year of her primary education.  It meant that she stopped going to school to prepare for the birth of her child. She now joins a group of girls that DAPP Malawi through governments’ department of social welfare has identified to kick start the training in the Mobile Workshop that will empower the girls with skill in tailoring among others. “Girls meet a lot of problems as a result they are forced to depend on men for survival. Cultures also impede on girls participation in development activities. For examples elders would tell us that we should not meet in groups for fear of meeting bad people. This training will make me become self- sustaining by breaking the culture of women dependence of men,” said  Grace Wiliamu.

According to Moses Chibwana, DAPP Programme Director, the project and the relevant district authorities carefully selected the beneficiaries from a group of most vulnerable girls who do not have access and opportunity to further their skills through mainstream technical training whose requirements  are often times not met by girls living in the remotest  parts of Malawi. As poverty in the country continues to wear a female face. Chibwana indicated that the project seeks to among others to contribute to rural women’s economic empowerment through developing their technical, entrepreneurial and vocational skills that will enable them to venture into profitable and sustainable income generating activities. The mobile training workshop will, be offering training in the most underserved districts in the Southern region during 3 year course.

Every 4 month it will move to a new village. By design the workshop ” is not only a center for vocational skills training. It is also a “mini” youth and community center connected to a solar power system, beamer, 5 laptops, internet dongles, Computers and TV. Youth will be invited to meet at the center after training in the afternoon – and benefit from the facility, enjoy good and educational films together with the community, discuss and get inspiration DAPP Malawi since 2002 has worked hand in hand with the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority in Malawi (TEVETA) in maintaining quality in the courses offered in its vocational training projects. The mobile workshop with will from time to time get its technical support needed to ensure that the girls that have been registered get the very best of vocational training. Director of Quality assurance at TEVETA Wilson Makulumiza Nkhoma   hailed the initiative as breakthrough in realizing that those that need skills but lack requisite qualification can still be enrolled in course that will change the lives for the better.

Alongside the Mobile Workshop DAPP has also expanded the capacity of Mikolongwe with establishing 4 Satelitte Classes also for vocational skills training of youth – housed at the facilities of each of the 4 teacher training colleges – this initiative is also funded by Sympany from the Netherlands.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.