AGE Africa Empowers Students in Entrepreneurship Skills in Mchinji
Advancing Girls' Education in Africa trains Mchinji students in entrepreneurship skills, providing opportunities for socioeconomic empowerment and future success.
MCHINJI, MALAWI — Advancing Girls' Education in Africa (AGE Africa), an international organisation based in Washington, D.C., has conducted training sessions for over 100 students from five government secondary schools in Mchinji district, writes Gerald Fanuel.
The training focused on soap making, cooking oil manufacturing, and peanut butter making.
The students participated in the "All Scholars Retreat" event held at Greenhill Lodge in Mchinji District on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
The event aimed to enhance students' life and livelihood skills, empowering them for socioeconomic growth and inspiring them to excel academically, positively impacting their lives and becoming agents of change.
Lessenia Chikho, Mchinji District Officer for AGE Africa, highlighted that the event, themed "Shaping the Future: Creating Young Sustainable Entrepreneurs," concentrated on empowering young people in entrepreneurship and development as part of post-secondary school transition programming.
Through the Malawi End to End programme, which began in 2005 in the southern region and expanded to the central region in 2022, including Mchinji district, over 2,500 students have participated in a three-year after-school programme called Creating Health Approaches To Success (CHATS).
The programme equips scholars with academic success and essential life skills, offering practical entrepreneurship and leadership experience through real-life models.
Agness Nkusankhoma, a member of Parliament for Mchinji South, expressed gratitude to AGE Africa for their transformative programme.
Nkusankhoma emphasised the importance of children acquiring entrepreneurial skills from a young age to foster an independent mindset.
Duncan Kampini, Mchinji District Trade Officer, echoed the sentiment, emphasising the need for Malawians to recognise the potential of locally produced goods in boosting the economy and fulfilling Malawi's Vision 2063.
Reymond Nkhonya, Director of Administration, emphasised the significance of entrepreneurship for the students and the district, as they are the future generation.
Nkhonya commended AGE Africa for providing students with essential tools for entrepreneurship, critical for job creation and building a prosperous future.
Susan Bajah, a Form 4 student from Magawa Secondary School who attended the retreat, shared her experience, stating that CHATS had transformed her approach to school and life.
She gained confidence, and facilitation skills, and learned how to start a business and produce soap, peanut butter, and oil.
Chikho, the district officer for AGE Africa, emphasised the positive impact of CHATS on students' academic success and self-assurance.
"We are confident that the skills we are imparting today will help these students transition well into the real world and excel in life," Chikho stated.
The CHATS programme spans three years, with scholars beginning in their second year of secondary school. During the first two years, students receive training in fundamental life and leadership skills.
The third year focuses on comprehensive entrepreneurship, equipping girls and boys with essential skills for establishing and maintaining small businesses.
The "All Scholars Retreat" event marked the culmination of the third year of CHATS.