Livingstonia Synod through Church and Society Proramme (CSP) has rolled out a nine-year advocacy project in Rumphi and Karonga districts to improve the well-being of the youth in poor communities.
In an interview, CSP monitoring and evaluation officer Happy Mhango said the youth are energetic and innovative, qualities ideal to tap for development.
“We want inclusive community structures that will be pivotal in initiating development programmes and demanding responses from duty-bearers,” he said.
Group village head (GVH) Mwaungulu from Traditional Authority (T/A) Wasambo complained that most youths in his area waste time indulging in bad behaviour such as excessive beer drinking, smoking and promiscuity; hence, the need to engage them.
“Despite the youths being in majority, their numbers are not being utilised for development. So, we need to bring them into the fold. They should take responsibility to develop their lives and communities,” he said.
Fulirwa Village Development Committee (VDC) member Ronald Munthali blamed the older generation for ignoring the youth in development committees.
“Older people are difficult. They just want to be leaders without involving the youth. Now with this project, perhaps we may see change as we’ll be able to participate in development,” he said.
Meanwhile, CSP is pushing for the establishment of community structures, saying once in place, children and youth clubs will be trained on their roles and responsibilities.
The Children, Youth and Community for Change (CYCC) project will be implemented in traditional authorities Mwamlowe in Rumphi and Wasambo in Karonga.