Austin came to Story Time in order to further his education. Partly due to his determination and partly due to Story Time sponsorship, he was able to apply and begin attending college - the first in his family to do so. He wants to be financially stable so he can provide for his family. He says he thinks about his future everyday and is confident in his ability to achieve his dreams.
Chisomo is a previous Story Time participant in the Women’s Empowerment Project, and since graduating, has become a volunteer facilitator and learner guide for CAMFED on the topic of sexual health and reproduction. She feels that because she went to school, “maybe I should do business. I should do something on my own.” But her mall business is not without struggle, due to the recent drought.
A few weeks ago, we covered the Youth Bubble in another blog post. We suggest reading it first, if you haven’t already, to provide context for the following story. This week, we’re sharing a story that illustrates the dire need for change in the way young people without resources, such as those from rural areas like our partner school, are facing a challenging future.
There is an “Invisible Generation” in Malawi. One that is virtually ignored. In Malawi, 70% of the population is under 30. This means an influx of youth coming into the workforce, bringing with them, dreams of innovation, entrepreneurship, and a better future. But that is not what is happening. There is a youth job crisis and a growing number of young laborers in need of work.
Malawi not only faces rising energy demand, but has insufficient power generating capacity, lacks investment in new generators, struggles with high transmission and distribution costs, poor power quality and reliability, and finally, heavily subsidized pricing, that is controlled mostly by the government. But there is some hope on the horizon.
“The children are our future” could never be so relatable to relatively young country like Malawi. With the average population age being 20 years old, these children are ready to do great things. The members of this community feel very strongly that the portrayal of helplessness, in the face of poverty, is not an accurate depiction of their reality.