Stephanos Vocational Training School on Friday graduated 50 youths in various disciplines.
The youths, who were the third cohort to be sponsored by Malawi Lake Basin Programme (MLBP), were trained in electrical and solar installation, designing and tailoring, carpentry and bricklaying and textile and fashion design.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the ceremony, one graduand Leonard Chioko, who was studying electrical installation and solar energy, said the training has enabled him acquire skills he intends to use effectively.
He said: “I will use my skills gained not only to earn a living but to also pass on [the skills] to my colleagues back home. If the country invests in technical skills for youths, we can move forward.”
In a separate interview, Stephanos Foundation executive director Clifford Kuyokwa said the institution seeks to equip youths with relevant entrepreneurial skills.
“We are offering high quality education and our graduates manage to survive after graduating because they gain useful practical skills,” he said.
On his part, MLBP business development coordinator John Magombo said the expectation is that the youth will be self-reliant after their training.
“It feels great and to us this is a good investment as the youth will hopefully become self-reliant individuals and thereby support the country’s economic status,” he said.
In her speech, the guest of honour Lilian Sankhulani, a lecturer in the department of technical education at The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, urged the graduates to go further with their studies and also exercise discipline as they practice their entrepreneurial ventures.
Upon graduation, the beneficiaries receive start-up packs relevant to their field and 136 youths have since benefitted from the sponsorship since 2016. n