Christopher was one of our multiple local Servas hosts and is working for the Youth Resource Center AYISE.
The day he took us to the center they celebrated the conclusion of a 4 month vocational skills training for young adults with little or none formal education. The guests of honor included the Minister of Youth and Sports and the representative of UNICEF which had funded the program. We wanted to stay as observers in the background but were officially introduced as volunteers of the peace organization Servas visiting from the USA. We where shown around the premises and giving demonstrations of the different classes: electrician, welders, carpenters, beauty salon. When it was time for speeches every speaker made sure to also address us.
The most remarkable speech was given by the Minister of Youth and Sports. In his very entertaining and inspiring remarks he put his finger on all the hot issues we had come across during our stay with multiple hosts in different neighborhoods:
He noted that Malawi can not rovide enough food for their own people despite huge water reserves (25% of Malawi is covered by Lake Malawi) and fertile land due to a lack of initiative. Regardless of the massive water reserves Malawians encounter unplanned water outages on almost daily basis because the water system lacks maintenance. Malawi can not provide enough energy for the whole country and therefore practices planned power outages of 5 hours per district on a rotation system for over 10 years now.
To overcome these struggles the Minister reminded the students to support each other, work hard without excuses, take government into accountability for policies and take their future in their own hands. And just because he loves to give long speeches he found a way to also include the use of condoms for family planning and the stop of early marriages to allow women to get a higher education and learn a profession.