Music Crossroads Malawi will Saturday graduate 50 students from its YIPMade Vocational Skills Centre in Lilongwe.
The students are part of the European Union sponsored project called ‘Vocational skills training and employment for vulnerable and marginalised young people in conflict with the law and persons with albinism’.
The 50 graduates will join the 240 that Music Crossroads has trained in the three year project.
Music Crossroads Malawi Director Mathews Mfune, said the YiPMade Vocational Skills Centre is a training institution which Music Crossroads established to equip, empower, rehabilitate and build sustainable livelihood of vulnerable and marginalised youths through provision of employable vocational skills and creative arts.
Mfune said the centre provides opportunities to serving inmates, ex-inmates, persons with albinism and at risk youths so as to help them gain vocational skills for their daily and continued survival.
“The trainings use the informal Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) curriculum combined with its own Coposo Methodology,” he said.
Mfune said the centre has been instrumental in offering vocational skills training in fabrication and welding, tailoring, fashion and designing, creative arts and craft, music and business management and entrepreneurship training.
“The students are engaged in business management and entrepreneurial training to build their capacity in business management skills. This activity equips them with necessary knowledge to help them establish, sustain and manage their own successful enterprises for improved livelihood,” he said.
Mfune also said that through this training, some business challenges and weaknesses are identified and addressed.
He said the centre also offers psycho-social counselling.
“The psycho-social counselling sessions are offered to improve the well-being of all students at YiPMade Vocational Skills Training Centre. This is an intervention which enables students to express their fears, emotions, feelings, excitements, worries and thoughts etc. aiming at restoring their dignity and self-realisation for their positive well-being,” Mfune said.
Other programmes that the centre looks at include community reintegration and follow up visits, mentoring sessions, student exchange visits and tree nursery management training.
Mfune said the project has had a significant impact in that over 70 percent of the total projected students have graduated with Teveta certificates in different vocational skills and that all of them have acquired start up tools.
“Most of them are now living sustainable livelihood through own established businesses while others have secured jobs,” he said.
Looking to the future, Mfune, said Music Crossroads will from next year expand the scope of its course to include among others, shoe making, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and cosmetology.
“We will also increase our intake to 200 students. We will also enroll youths who have just finished secondary school and are awaiting college studies. This is in addition to our current targets and courses,” Mfune said.