Malawi faces both the challenges and opportunities of having one of the world’s youngest populations. According to 2016 statistics from the UNFPA, 70% of Malawi’s population is under 35, with a mean age of 17 years old. This population will continue to grow quickly as the current generation of children and adolescents grow up and have children of their own. It is expected that Malawi will continue to have a majority youth population for the next 40 to 50 years.
The young population of Malawi faces the dual issues of a lack of sufficient education and a tough job market. Completion of secondary education among young adults, especially girls, is low, and even fewer go on to complete tertiary education. This issue is compounded by a job market only capable of absorbing a small fraction of the youth. Thus, many people find themselves jobless and without the tools or education necessary to effect change in their lives.
Among those who bear the brunt of this are youth in peri-urban urban areas, especially when compared with their counterparts in more established urban zones. Peri-urban areas are overpopulated, contain many illegal settlements, have high rates of poverty, and many are forced to drop out of school. As a result, youth are particularly affected by challenges in the labour market and chances for social mobility are few. This is accompanied by a variety of psychological barriers arising out of such a situation; namely low self-esteem and a tendency to be pushed towards risky activities and lifestyles choices. As a means of alleviating the situation, youth in peri-urban areas have identified access to information and education, acquisition of qualifications and skills, and access to markets, startup capital, and business management knowledge as essential to finding or creating their own employment
Malawi’s large population of young people has special significance, and need not be seen as a hindrance to national development. Thus, reducing youth unemployment through specifically-designed interventions is one of the country’s major challenges today.
Tingathe is a non-governmental organization which specializes in social and economic development for peri-urban youth in Lilongwe, Malawi. Our flagship Tingathe Training Programme runs every year and trains out-of-work young adults in vocational skills. In addition to this, Tingathe works with local children and businesswomen by providing crucial supplementary education in life skills, business management, human rights, and other courses!
A society that has empowered, influential and economically independent youth.
The goals of this organization are;
- To impart marketable vocational skills, life skills, and provide seed funding and mentorship to enable vulnerable youth to excel and thrive.
- To form supportive and collaborative networks with government, NGOs, and the private sector.
- To create opportunities for vulnerable youth through the Tingathe Programme and to lead in community development.