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Catholic University Students in Malawi Urged to Guide Youth in Secondary Schools

Credit: ECM

Catholic members of Young Christian Students (YCS) in institutions of higher learning in Malawi have been urged to reach out to their counterparts in secondary schools and teach them life skills.

In a Tuesday, December 14 report, the YCS National Youth Chaplain in Malawi, Fr. Valerian Mtseka said that girls and boys at secondary level lack skills to survive and that they are in most cases overwhelmed by life.

“A lot of young girls and boys lack the principles and life skills hence they easily give up in life. That’s why we have decided to send you (YCS members) who are more vibrant than those in secondary schools,” Fr. Mtseka says in the report.

The Malawian Priest who was speaking during the national conference of YCS movement that was held at Nantipwiri Conference Center in the Archdiocese of Blantyre said that the youth in secondary schools have the hunger to understand the need of serving God.

“Through serving God, the secondary school youths are more prepared to face the world with strong faith so as not to be influenced by the evils of the world that destroys them,” Fr. Mtseka said.

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On their part, YCS members from different universities in Malawi expressed commitment to support the activities of the youth in both Catholic and government secondary schools through provision of spiritual orientation.

Making reference to the YCS motto, which is “See- Judge-Reflect, Act,” the interim national YCS President, Lustica Simango, said that there is need for the Christian youth in secondary schools to understand Christian values that the church seeks to revive through the YCS movement.

Speaking on the mission of YCS, Mr. Simango said that the movement is supposed to draw students close to Christ in view of changing the world, a process he says can be achieved by reviving the movement in secondary schools through inter-school conferences and visitations to specific schools.

“We believe that by reaching out to these young students, we will enhance their activeness thus also making them agents of the revival to their fellow schools,” Mr. Simango said, and added, “As a young Christian student, I have come to realize that there is no way, one can appreciate, value and strengthen something they don’t know or understand.”

He further advocated for the use of learning materials like books, talks, YCS programs and fully engaging the youth in all activities as a way of making them active in the movement and the church as well.

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“That is why it is vital that these students are deeply exposed to the different YCS books, talks, other vital YCS programs as well as fully involving them in our activities at all levels so as to develop in them a better understanding of what YCS is, understand what their role is as YCS members to their fellow students, their society and the world at large,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Mrs. Musonda Michelle who presented about entrepreneurship “encouraged the young Christian students to be independent by trying different kinds of businesses.”

“Economic downturn amidst the COVID-19 variants are another punch in the face that everyone including youths are facing. The youths are facing numerous challenges in order to empower themselves,” Mrs. Michelle said.

She added, “I urge you all to remove that mentality of waiting for someone to give you something to do after school, you should not think within a confided framework that locks your human boundaries for self-actualization but rather do something that will keep you going as you search for your gold medal, no matter how little.”

Frank Kaliati, YCS chairperson from university of Malawi expressed gratitude for the conference terming it a “transformative agent” that has inspired him so much to reach out to youth and speak about issues like gender violence.

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“The Honorable minister of gender, community development and social welfare Hon Patricia Kaliati elucidated on the importance of curbing gender-based issues. She eloquently articulated on girl empowerment who has been marginalized for so long,” Mr. Kaliati said.

He added, “Personally, I realized the forms of gender-based violence not only physical but also psychological torture which females are exposed to in various sectors like homes. This does not outcast the male gender for she (Patricia Kaliati) also highlights the need of addressing the various forms of gender-based violence.”