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Our unique dialogue based approach to skills training 

The layout of a skills centre teaching building . 

We have funded the building of three teaching blocks at The STEKA Centre for Vocational Skills and Community Enterprise to provide opportunities for people to get the vocational skills they need to work their way to independent sustainable futures.

We know that very marginalised people need more than practical skills though, and are very proud of the ways in which our unique Critical Dialogue approach means our learners develop the confidence and resources to address the power imbalances and inequalities that restrict their opportunities. In this way, we've created a supportive community in which small enterprises can develop and flourish for people who have grown up in poverty and faced other inequalities, including gender based violence and exploitation.

In addition, our Principal, Mac Kholomana and Director, Godknows Maseko, work 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 taught here 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 will be that more people are employed in sustainable work, more women empowered and able to work, family units develop more effective parenting, children feel safer and educated, and fewer young people are vulnerable to human traffickers. 

Future funding needs and plans


So that women can attend our training courses, despite the huge barrier of gender inequality, we urgently need to build a women's hostel. Please see our separate page and blog posts on this.


We are developing a 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 a 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. 


We want to build a 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 including tote bags, (Christmas) decorations and aprons in Malawi and Scotland

  • International school groups paying to take part in Dialogue Groups run by STEKA residents 

  • Fundraising by STEKA supporters and schools, students and organisations in Scotland inspired by social media content developed through linking up with Queen Margaret University

  • STEKAskills trustee and STEKA resident, Gift Thompson, has degrees in Public Sociology and International Leadership & Business from Queen Margaret University, setting him up to develop knowledge to lead the Youth Skills Village in the future


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