A plan for the layout of a skills centre teaching building .
The STEKA Centre for Vocational Skills and Community Enterprise (or Youth Village) will provide opportunities for people to get the vocational skills they need to work their way to independent sustainable futures in Malawi (where only 1% of the population can go to college). Learning skills can mean that people can set up their own businesses and sustain themselves and their futures in a supportive community in which small enterprises can be created and flourish.
Godknows Maseko, is working in partnership with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development and other child care organisations to ensure that all the young people will receive guidance and counselling about careers, education, youth reproductive health and social and spiritual issues.
Psychosocial support will relate to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and succession planning (particularly important for families dealing with HIV), life and decision making skills, developing resilience, the identification of individual potential and dealing with drug and substance abuse.
The impact would be more people employed in sustainable work, more women empowered and able to work, more effective parenting and family units, children feeling safe and being educated in nursery, fewer young people vulnerable to human traffickers and less crime.
Funding and plans
1. Building 3 vocational skills teaching blocks
A series of three buildings each consisting of teaching classrooms and workshops will allow young people first to be trained and then to practice in a number of areas essential to Malawi’s development; including clothes design and tailoring brick laying, carpentry, mechanics, electronics, welding and metal fabrication, hairdressing, plumbing, rural agriculture, environmental conservation and information technology. Like any college, classes will be timetabled so that a number of courses can be taught in the buildings throughout the year.
2. Provision of Equipment
We know that making school uniforms is a buoyant trade in Malawi so we want to buy / gather donations of 100 treadle / electric sewing machines and ship them to Malawi. Machines surplus to teaching requirements will be sold to graduates from the design and tailoring course (on payment plans) to enable them to establish their own tailoring businesses.
3. Development of Child Care Training Institute/multipurpose hall to facilitate youth forums and community events
In addition to qualifications in community development for youth and children, psychosocial counselling and Montessori nursery care, Godknows and Helen Maseko have 10 years experience in establishing and running successful children’s home for vulnerable children. Godknows heads a network of 42 childcare organisations and Helen holds one of the most senior women’s roles in the Catholic Church. The key to their success at the STEKA care home is their parental role. Their home is run as a family according to clear family and spiritual values (with children without biological parents adopting their surname, Maseko). The childcare institute will provide training for care givers in other institutions to enable them to adopt this more personal, parental model, as well as parenting classes for community members struggling with family life ( a key issue in Malawi where more than 50% live in poverty and 11% have died of HIV Aids ). This approach has been developed to enable orphaned and vulnerable children to receive effective care in communities.
4. Sports Complex
We know that young people living chaotic lives may not opt to engage in education or training but they will gather to play sport and games. By providing sports facilities we hope to attract young people who can then be engaged in learning and develop life skills and resilience. These facilities will also provide much needed activities for the residents of nearby villages (providing a diversionary role in relation to drug and alcohol abuse).
Income for the centre will be generated by:
Fees paid for vocational training courses.
The sale of products to visitors including bags, PJs and aprons which are already being sold in Scotland.
Roadside selling of goods (the Centre will be located on a new road from Blantyre to Llilongwe).
Fundraising by STEKA supporters and schools, students and organisations in Scotland inspired by social media content developed through link up with Queen Margaret University.
STEKAskills trustee and STEKA resident, Gift Thompson, is studying Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University to develop skills to lead the Youth Skills Village in the future.