Machinga District Youth Network Chairperson, Shalid Ishmael has described youth innovation challenge as a cornerstone in addressing a wide range of issues affecting the youth in the district.
Speaking on the sidelines of a briefing of Youth Technical Sub-committee on youth innovation challenge on Monday by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
He said the initiative would provide the youth an opportunity to effectively address issues affecting their day to day life.
Ishmael said youth innovation challenge was a step forward towards youth empowerment as the initiative empowers the youth to showcase their capability in dealing with issues affecting them as they were the ones affected by problems as such would best provide solutions to the same.
“Unlike in the past whereby organizations or government would just bring solutions to our challenges, this initiative empowers us to identify issues on our own in our localities and come up with solutions and implement the solutions on our own.
“We have capacity to deal with issues affecting our lives but we lack technical and financial support. This challenge provides us with technical and financial support to the issues affecting us and we are grateful for the youth innovation challenge,’’ he added.
Ishmael assured authorities that the youth in the district would demonstrate that they were capable of dealing with issues affecting them.
Machinga District Council Director of Planning and Development (DPD), Macpherson Mwakhwawa said the challenge was in line with government policy of decentralization as it empowers the youth to take part in issues affecting them which ensures sustainability of the programme.
Director of Youth in the Ministry, Judith Msusa assured the youth that the Ministry was committed to uplifting the life of the youth in the district and the country as a whole.
“I would like to urge the youth from Machinga to utilize this challenge and prove that they are capable of addressing issues affecting them,” she said.
One of the officials from UNICEF, Clara Chindime emphasized that the youth are current leaders; hence, the need to accord them with an opportunity to address issues affecting them in their localities.
She said UNICEF is committed to meet the needs of the youth as this programme has incorporated the youth from ages 20 to 24.
Youth Innovation Challenge is open to all youth groups and are expected to send proposals addressing issues affecting them in their localities and how they are going to address them.
However, only four best proposals will be funded by UNICEF to the tune of a maximum K2.5 million to each group to address their outlined challenges.
Youth Innovation Challenge is being piloted in four districts, Machinga inclusive. – By Robert Nayeja