Affiliate Contact Name: Mr. Pearson Malisau

Ignitus Continues to Spread Across Malawi!

Our affiliate in Malawi not only continues to do great work in their current sites, but has been working hard over the past couple of months expanding to more schools and communities. One of them is the Mzuzu Artisan Secondary School, where they welcome the establishment of an Ignitus site in order to help in the reduction and prevention of crimes, as well as increased student awareness on the dangers of drugs and alcohol use, theft and unwanted pregnancies. It has been noted that Artisan has had a very high percentage of crime rate due to the lack of any organizations working together with the schools and the students who come from areas of high crime rates. Because of this, they hope for this new partnership with Ignitus to help instill positive school behavior at Artisan.

Another Ignitus site has been established in Malawi’s district of Kasungu, located in the country’s central region. It is an area of high drug activity (especially growing Chamba, or Indian Hemp), as well as a leading district in tobacco. Because of all this, there is a high number of cases of young people involved in alcohol, drug abuse and violence, and Ignitus Malawi hopes for the new establishment of a site in the area to make positive steps in their communities.

Another goal for Ignitus Malawi is to establish a partnership with several other organizations, in order to promote Ignitus’s Going Green campaign. They have already held meetings and discussions in cities such as Kampingo Sibande to talk about the environmental issues they face, such as deforestation.

Malawi takes several “lion steps” forward
Malawi has built a firm foundation in the past six months to carry out the business of youth led crime prevention in this African nation. A leadership team of five committed young people has formed (pictured above). They include Victor Kanyala, Pearson Malisawo, Peter Mzumara, Laura Twanje, and Daniel H.S. Nyirenda. The group developed its by-laws and recruited six national advisors: Charles Jere of the   Community Services Office, Mr. Miell of the Kinder School, Mrs. A. K. Sichinga an educator, S. K. Maundala representing the police, Ms. J. Mkandawire of social welfare, and Joseph Diele of MACRO. The group also identified key stakeholders and formed partnerships and went on to sign a Memorandum of Understanding setting out their goals and activities. Partners include the Ministry of Education, the National Youth Council of Malawi, the Assemblies of God, the Malawi Police, the Community Services, Social Welfare, the Regional Youth Office, Mzuzu Youth Association, and the TA Kampingo Sibande. Furthermore, the group drafted a budget. And, most important of all… they recruited and started their first program site, the Mzuzu Youth Association. The future looks bright for Malawi. We wish them the best of luck.

Profile of Mzuzu Youth Association
A model YCW Site established at Mzuzu Youth Association – Core Group of about 12 Youths paused with the Executive Director of YCW Malawi.
Mzuzu Youth Association, established in the year 2001, is an umbrella body for about 42 youth organizations and community-based youth clubs within the city of Mzuzu and its surrounding neighborhoods. Each group has a membership of 10 to 60 young people aged 14 to 30. MYA coordinates and networks youth developmental efforts in Mzuzu. Affiliated groups carry out a number of activities which include HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation campaigns, gender issues and sexual reproductive health, human rights and democracy, environmental conservation and many others.

Advisor for Mzuzu Youth Association, Father Richard Deschenes (standing) addressing a core group during YCW site establishment on 20th June 2009.

Youth Crime Watch Malawi has chosen MYA as a model site in Malawi due to the fact that it represents the interest of many youth, hence YCW information will reach the majority without much hassle. Mzuzu Youth association has singled out Crime Reporting as one of the first component that they will be implementing at their site. With the leadership of their Advisor they are anxiously looking forward to an implementation and other trainings that YCW will provide.