13 December 2017
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Monday, 04 December 2017 15:42

Nsanje youth demand inclusion in governance structures

Written by  Martin Chiwanda & Margaret Phiri
Youths like these demand inclusion in governance structures - File Photo Youths like these demand inclusion in governance structures - File Photo

NSANJE, December 04, 2017: Youths in Nsanje have expressed worries over their continued being sidelined in development structures like Area and Village Development Committees. 

The call was made on Friday during an interface meeting at Nsanje Boma Chamber.

The concerned youths noted that those in authorities do not include them in the committees despite the fact that they have the potential to contribute more towards community development.

For example, Nyamikuta Youth Club Chairperson, Yowasi Kampira said in his area of Traditional Authority Mbenje, youths have not been included in the said structures as a result the issues that concern youths are not included or taken on board for possible consideration.

“As youths in our respective areas, those in the authorities are taking us for granted. They don’t even include us in activities which are being done in our areas. This is bad in as far as youth involvement in community development is concerned.

“As youths we need our share in the governance structures so that we contribute more to the development of our areas. As youth, we can do more if given the necessary support and inclusion in such structures than those claiming to be the elders,” said Kampira.

He applauded Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE) through Danish funded project for engaging the authorities by encouraging them to include youths in different structures so that they show their potential.

“I think with the coming in of the FOCESE project, youths have now started realizing their rights in taking part in different community activities. I am very sure that while the project is making us youths realize our rights, it is also trying to engage those in authority to know that youths can play a crucial role in addressing some of the challenges the communities are facing.

“I am asking the government, councilors and even chiefs to civic educate communities and explain to them that youths are there to develop and make the country move forward, “said Kampira.

Commenting on the youth’s concerns, Mbenje Area Development Committee Chairperson, Radick Semba acknowledged the gap saying in  most areas youths are not included in the local governance structures. Semba added that youths have all the necessary responsibility to be taking part in developmental activities for positive change to be registered.

 “As of now, we have seen the importance of encouraging youths to participate in local governance structures. Therefore, as those in the authority, we need to engage them. Whenever they have an issue, they should be able to take that to VDC or ADC through their representative,” said Semba.

FOCESE Finance and Administration officer, Linda Kadaula said their organization targets youth as they are the ones that are being neglected in community development initiatives.

Kadaula said her organization decided to come up with the project called ‘Youths Inclusion Participation and Empowerment in Local Governance (YIPE)’ which would enable the youths to know their rights, responsibilities and have their voices heard by those on top in development activities.

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