Neno Youth Dared to Form Cooperatives
Neno District Youth Officer (DYO) Hope Mwafulirwa has challenged the youth in the country to unite if they wish to transform their lives and the economic status of the country.
He said this Wednesday during a Neno Youth Network Day where he emphasized that the youth should take advantage of the National Youth Service and start growing crops and produce other products for value addition in cooperatives.
Mwafulirwa says such products should be competitive on both local and international markets.
“Our youth should be encouraged not to stay idle but should rather join cooperatives where they can develop skills and use them for economic gains," said the DYO.
He added the products can also substitute imports that mega stores do, thereby earning the youth decent pay and increase the country’s gross domestic product.
“If they come together, they can add value to their products by polishing them to attract mega stores; this will minimize what these shops import since they will be sourcing them locally," he said.
As a way of increasing both nutrition and income, Neno district fisheries department officer Chancy Gondwe asked the youth to venture into fish farming, saying the benefits are enormous.
“Here in Neno district, we have a good environment for fish farming, but our youth are not taking up this challenge. I advise you to seek our guidance and it will be profitable to you, our youths," appealed Gondwe.
He further called on farmers to add value to the fish like bonya, saying it has a good market in South Africa which can earn Malawi the much needed forex.
Neno district youth network chairperson Bright Khungwa asked stakeholders to link them with potential markets, saying cooperatives alone cannot yield the desired goals for the National Youth Service Program if they work in isolation.
“Our youth office is linking us to various markets but we need more reliable ones as the demand for our products is becoming more,” he said.
Turning to youth rights protection, Stainley Chalakwa, Programs manager for Community Action for Sustainable Development Organisation (CASDO) said they are promoting education among learners in standards 1-4.
"The Securing Children's Rights through Education and Protection (SCREP) programme is making sure that these learners know how to read, write and calculate, as these tools are crucial in their adult lives,” he said.
Partners in Health representative Samson Njolomole also said that his organization is running a project called "No Girl is Left Behind" which aims at making sure that girls that fall pregnant are well-fed and later go back to school to further their studies.
The meeting was aimed at soliciting views and solutions on how best to empower the youth of Neno to achieve economic independence.