Malawi is an amazing country, known for its very positive, innovative, and highly enterprising people and strong sense of community. But it is one of the poorest countries in the world and a number of young people have to struggle to be educated - only 11% of the population can finish primary school and only 1% can go on to further education*.
The QMU Student Malawi Society helps QMU students:
Develop relationships with young people in Malawi for mutual benefit.
Learn more about Malawi (with which Scotland has had a close relationship since the days of David Livingstone).
We hope a number of events and projects will emerge as the Society develops. Our first project is a joint film made by a Malawian teenager living in a children's home there (using a QMU camera), and edited by two QMU Media students here. It aims to help raise funds for a youth village consisting of centres and workshops to teach vital skills to ambitious teenagers trapped by poverty into living on the streets of Malawi.
You can donate to the STEKA Youth Skills Village by clicking on the donate button above. Each vocational skills building (consisting of a teaching classroom and a workshop) costs just £7,000 to build. And any group raising enough for a room will have it named after them with a plaque fixed to acknowledge their contribution. They will also receive photos about the project to use on websites and social media. And everyone will receive updates on progress and impact via the STEKA blog and Facebook pages.
* Statistics about the number of people completing education in Malawi are taken from the Education Policy and Data Centre statistics for 2010.
The STEKA Youth Skills Village
The STEKA Youth Skills Village is Godknows Maseko's vision for changing the life of some of the most vulnerable teenagers in Malawi. Godknows is a well respected grassroots activist with a track record of success and strong links with the Malawian Government and other NGOs.
Having himself been trafficked, and lived on the streets as a child, Godknows wants to transform things for young people in similar circumstances. He and his wife have already built STEKA, a thriving home for 60 of the country's most vulnerable and poverty stricken children. They have achieved success in motivating them and making sure they are educated (100% who can go to school, do. And private schools offer STEKA children scholarships, because they know that the STEKA environment means they will perform well and achieve success). Ten years since its inception though, STEKA now has a number of bright and dedicated young adults who are too old to be in a children's home and need training or jobs to be able to make sustainable future lives for themselves. Some have already learned skills and want to share them with other street kids to help them off the streets (and become trainers), others need to further develop skills themselves (and STEKA is networked with a range of local experts who are willing to share their skills by running workshops).
STEKA youth village would provide independent living for these young people as well as giving them, and other vulnerable teenagers, the skills they need to secure successful future lives. It will consist of workshops to teach life-changing skills such as tailoring, agriculture, IT, hairdressing and electronics and, eventually, sports facilities to attract homeless children and help teach them organisational skills so that they can move on to learning in the skills centres. It fits with Malawian Government aims and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
QMU is committed to helping develop the village over the next 5 years by offering a place to at least one of STEKA's young residents to study its public sociology degree and return home every year over the summer to apply what they've learned (alongside any QMU students who'd like to volunteer their time).