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Empowering young people in Malawi

konzalendo-wilson-thumbSome generous donations have been sent to Malawi and the funds are being used to train young people in tailoring skills. Here the sisters in Konzalendo explain how the funds are benefitting the local people.

“Here in Konzalendo and indeed throughout the country boys and girls drop out of primary school and only a small percentage go on for secondary education. The majority marry and have children at an early age. For those who do finish secondary education job prospects are slim so they end up farming with their families.
Since we came to live in Konzalendo we have had many discussions on how we could assist some of these young people to learn a skill and become self-reliant. Eventually we decided to offer training in carpentry and tailoring. We did not want to build a Centre, for many reasons:
·    the cost of building and then the ongoing maintenance
·    local personnel to run a Centre when these are not available in the area
·    we do not have a sister to coordinate and supervise such a Centre
·    staff salaries and recurring expenditure
Local tailors are employed in different locations and they are remunerated monthly.    Following a period of training which varies in duration, depending on
the ability of the trainees, graduation takes place and then they proceed to set up their own business. Trade Aid an NGO in the UK provides sewing machines and all the necessary items so that they are given a good start up. These boxes contain equipment of a high quality and are much appreciated. Members of the Rotary Club both in the UK and Malawi help with the transportation. Sometimes we have to pay for clearance, depending on who imports. Mr. Wouters who has a paint factory in Blantyre allows us to use his warehouse and when necessary pays all the necessary costs.
Presently there are three people in training at Lipo, Chamera and Konzalendo. Each tailor trains one person at a time. The photos here give you an idea of what we are about and the areas where these young people live and work. To
date one lady and four men have benefited from training and are now operating from their own homes.
This is Wilson's photo-story: