By Solister Mogha
Malawi Green Corp Programme, implemented under Catholic Relief Services (CRS), has graduated 210 youths in Zomba after training them in financial management, mbeya fertiliser making and waste management to ensure their contribution to sustainable environmental conservation.
Malawi Green Corps Project Manager, Baxton Chirombo urged the youth to seriously participate in conserving the environment which is heavily degraded due to human induced factors.
He made the appeal at Songani Primary School on Wednesday during the graduation of the youths drawn from various parts of Zomba.
Chirombo said youth constitutes a larger percentage of the country’s population and are crucial to sustain various interventions meant to conserve and restore the environment.
“Malawi is a youthful country and youths are the driving force in a number of areas,” Chirombo said.
He, therefore, urged the youths to desist from being exploited but focus on things that would improve their wellbeing.
Chirombo cited environmental conservation as one area that needs youth active participation to minimise effects of climate change.
He said, through the Malawi Green Corps Project, a number of youth in ten districts of the country were involved in land restoration by carrying out activities such as waste management, mbeya fertiliser making and tree planting.Chirombo added that the intervention also empowered the youths to engage in economic practices and other environmental friendly activities.
“The project has achieved its intended goal of empowering the youth and encouraging them to seriously take part in environmental conservation,” he said.
Zomba District Council Chairperson, Baxter Chirwa hailed CRS for training the youth in a number of skills to help them conserve and restore the environment apart from empowering them economically for sustainable livelihood.
Chirwa said engaging the youth in economic activities has great potential of enhancing socio-economic development of the country.
“Countries that value efforts by the youth have improved immensely. The youth have potential to spur development,” he said.
One of the youths that were trained, Fathu Hassan, said he has benefited a lot from the training as, apart from land restoration and conservation agricultural activities, the youths were also trained in business, finance management and vocational skills.
Malawi Green Corps is a Malawi Government programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is being implemented by the CRS.
The programme is aimed at responding to urgent environmental degradation by imploring effective environmental management measures in rehabilitated hotspots while providing the youth with skills and mentorship so that they create greener jobs.