Skills for Life

Year: 2019
Country: Malawi
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Economic Opportunity
Project Investment: $6,695.17

Project Launch: 12-23-19

The Skills for Life project will equip 40 youth with skills in salon and hairdressing, motorcycle repairing, solar and dish installation. There is a high incidence of substance abuse and prostitution among youth in this community as tertiary education is expensive and job opportunities are limited. This project will provide a pathway for participants to acquire skills and establish businesses to generate income. 

Project Update: 4-20-20

The community organization, Communities in Development Activities (COIDA), is training 56 youth (21 females and 35 males) in various skills to reduce unemployment. Out of the 56 youth, 16 have been enrolled in hairdressing, 18 are learning motorcycles repairing, 12 are in solar installation, and 7 are in dish installation. After completion, the trainees will receive a TEVETA certification as the organization training program was pre-approved.  So far one girl has graduated from the solar installation program and secured a job with ZUKU TV. Two boys have opened their own motorcycle repair garage, and six boys from the dish installation group have started working as freelance installers in the district. 30 of the remaining students are said to have started getting some work with various workshops in their respective areas as they continue with their studies. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is set to be completed by June as only a few training sessions remain.

Simon Moyo, one of the project participants, comments, “I had lost hope after secondary school as I did not get into any college. My parents could not afford to raise MK200,000 or more for fees in technical schools. Thanks to the Skills for Life project for giving me the training and the skills. I see a bright future ahead. From March 2020, I have so far repaired 3 motor bikes and one generator. Once I finish classes on 4 stroke engine, I will open a garage at Kazomba Trading center so that I can reach out to more customers.”

Final Report: 1-31-21

Communities in Development Activities (COIDA) successfully facilitated vocational skills training in Mzimba District using a $6,695.17 World Connect grant. The project was implemented from December 2019 to June 2020 and enrolled a total of 59 beneficiaries, 24 young women and girls and 35 young men. Participants were trained in dish installation (7), solar installation (12), hair dressing (16), motor mechanics (18), and basic computer studies (6). All participants completed their courses except the hairdressing group which did not complete the full course due to COVID-19.  Over twelve participants have since been employed while the remaining are now self-employed. The vocational skills acquired, and resultant employment have curbed the emigration of productive young people who go to seek greener pastures in South Africa, which was a big challenge before the project rolled out. One of the participants in the training from Kazomba area in the district, commends the impact the project has had on his life and community: “Kazomba area never had a mechanic to work on generators and motorcycles. … I now repair the generators and (do) minor works on motorcycles. Thanks to this project for giving me this life changing skill. …I have had no hope for life after secondary school since most colleges require more than what I can manage. My parents too cannot afford to raise MK200, 000 or more for fees in technical schools. Thanks to Skills for Life project for giving me the training and the skills. I see a bright future ahead.”

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