Youth Forum for National Transformation in youth empowerment
Lilongwe-based NGO, Youth Forum for National Transformation (YOFONAT), has embarked on a rare mission of empowering the youth with leadership skills.
MALAWI: A Lilongwe-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Youth Forum for National Transformation (YOFONAT), has embarked on a rare mission of empowering the youth with leadership skills that will, among other things, help the young people develop their communities and the nation at large.
In an exclusive interview with AfricaBrief, YOFONAT Executive Director, Chifundo Robert Banda, said that his organization is focused on building leadership capacity among the youth in the country.
“As a youth-led organization, we are centered on harnessing the leadership potential of young people through a human rights-based approach, we priorities on issues that affect the marginalized young people, women, and people with disabilities through empowerment,” said Banda.
He added that with support from Youth Wave Malawi their vision is to have the communities in the country which recognize the potential of young people with developmental aspirations that reflects the benefits of the youth.
He also said that through their activities they are as well helping in addressing issues of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and also helping youth especially girls who dropped out of school to get back to school.
“We have so far registered several GBV cases within Mtandile community in Lilongwe and the survivors are currently being helped, apart from that we have managed to assist five girls to get back to school in the same locality,” he said.
According to Banda, YOFONAT is implementing an ongoing initiative dubbed ‘My Voice My Right’ which started in the year 2020 and it is expected to phase out in the year 2025.
“The initiative is about empowering adolescent girls and young women through capacity building sessions such as economic empowerment training as well as psychosocial support.
“Through this initiative, we have trained over 150 girls in the Mtandile community and we are looking forward to reaching out to over 1,000 girls in Lilongwe,” he said.
However, he bemoaned the lack of financial support as the main challenge which the project is currently facing saying that YOFONAT members use their pocket money to run activities of the project.
Banda, therefore, called well-wishers in the country and abroad to help his organization with financial support that would help to run its project.
In his remarks, Minister of Youth and Sports, Ulemu Msungama applauded YOFONAT for its initiative.
“The organization is doing good initiative as it is mainly looking at building capacity among young people in order for them to be able to help in transforming the communities,” Msungama said.