Sunday, 30 October 2016

My Commitment towards Enhancement of Young People's Lives in Nkhata Bay: An Account of an ICS-Progressio Volunteer

Written by Anthony Kannanda Phiri

One of the sessions which ICS-Progressio Volunteers had
with Secondary School students in Nkhata Bay district 
“Hello guys, listen, we are ICS volunteers who work with YONECO to among other things, promote the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and welfare of young people here in Nkhata Bay district” – said one of my fellow ICS Progressio volunteers.

The ambiance was filled with noise that was being made by students during our first secondary school session in the Nkhata Bay district. As I was waiting for a time to commence activities as an ICV (In Country Volunteer), my head was so filled up with thoughts, uncertainties and expectations on how I will perform. It is really true that what was hard to bear is sweet to remember.

Young people in Malawi face a number of challenges and these challenges are also very prevalent in the communities where we are working in. Young people are constantly challenged by various SRHR issues like unwanted teen pregnancies, high prevalence rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among others. Further to this, young people easily succumb to negative pressure and indulge in binge drinking as well as abusing drugs and substances. This is a pitiful situation as the youth are leaders of today and tomorrow hence the need to provide them with necessary life skills to enable them to avoid such things.

The first day of work justified the need to intensify various SRHR sessions with young people.  Furthermore, the situation warrants the need to concentrate our efforts and the need to cooperate with students in primary and secondary schools as well as establishing strong linkages with other community members.

There is indeed a lot of work to do and all the team members need to maintain the momentum and approach the tasks enthusiastically in order to successfully complete the mission at hand.

An SRHR Session with Young people in progress 
I realized that life becomes so satisfactory when one contributes positively to various aspects of life and I am glad that as a volunteer, I am learning a lot as well as supporting the development of young people. Of course, I faced a lot of challenges at the beginning but now I feel confident and happy to be an ICS volunteer. Many people, more especially those who live in urban areas, think that life is simple but the case is not as such to those who live rural areas. In order to discover new lands, one must be willing to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Life necessitates the need to learn and have and hunger for more knowledge.

As volunteers, we are trying our best to support the process of addressing various challenges and inequalities among people at different levels. We are associating very well with local communities and this is an important aspect of our work.

People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing. I am ready to reach out to hard to reach areas and work with as many youths as possible. I have also realized that in the efforts of trying to change others am also in the process of changing my life as well and sometimes this even happens at subconscious level.

Frankly speaking, I am enjoying the team work and a good working relationship we have established with our friends from UK  (UK based Progressio-ICS Volunteers). Man alone has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; Man alone can dream and make his dreams come true. It`s my dream to change the world, and it`s my dream that by the end of my placement, young people’s situation should not be the same.                                                                                                                                                             


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