This year Eva Demaya Centre offered vocational training to 10 young (19-25 years old) women and men. The trainees are chosen from the surrounding villages through their community structures such as community-based organization and village development committees with confirmation of the local chiefs. The selected youngsters all had neither formal skills nor tertiary education qualifications and had no means of sustaining their livelihoods, which gives them a prospect of being trapped in poverty with all its related problems.
The vocational training offered by the Centre is an exceptional opportunity for the chosen trainees to learn a profession which gives them the possibility to set up their own businesses. The training equips the students with skills and knowledge in order for them to be self-reliant with the skills gained.
Once the training is completed, the professional young men and women offer their vocational services to the community who in their turn benefit from it as clients having access to their business services.
This year Eva Demaya Centre provided vocational training in tailoring (to 4 women) and bicycle maintenance (6 men). The training includes an extensive practical part and a week-long course in business management, to enable them to set up and manage their own business. At the end of the full training every trainee receives a starter pack with all necessary tools and materials for them to set up their own business.
The tailoring courses lasted from April to end October 2022, and for bicycle mechanics there were two 3 month’s courses for 3 men each. After all the groups had finished the practical training, they attended together a one-week course in business management, which was facilitated by Mr Simbeye from Rumphi District, who works as a Community Development Assistant under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Disability and Social Welfare. The business training included topics such as general understanding and increasing knowledge in running a business, using production and quality management measures, product costing and defining selling prices, calculating profit and loss in business, importance of record-keeping and what marketing strategies can be followed.
This year’s programme did face some economical challenges, because of a cost-of-living crisis in Malawi all training materials and food items were suddenly very expensive. However the Centres employees managed to finish all the training programmes, without delay and without anyone dropping out, which is a great achievement.
Festivities for the certificate ceremony were sober this year, due to the financial problems. But in a formal gathering the tailoring students showed their own-made beautiful dresses while all students received their certificate and working package. And of course the group-2022 is immortalized on a picture…