A World for All Ages (The international Youth Day 2022)

Every year on the 12th of August, the world commemorates International Youth Day. This day was set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness and reflect on issues affecting young people worldwide. This year again, Malawi joined the rest of the international community in commemorating this day under the theme “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.”

The theme sought to highlight that to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. Furthermore, the theme sought to utilize young people’s potential as actors of change, which requires involving and empowering them in developing policies and supporting their participation at all levels.

Youth Wave, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and various stakeholders in Malawi, led the commemoration event at CIVO Stadium in Lilongwe. The event attracted different organizations and youth who showcased their talents, services and other innovative products. 

The event was graced with the presence of Malawi’s Head of State, H.E. Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, who could not hide his admiration for the interventions and innovations done by Malawian Youth in addressing social challenges as a contribution to Malawi 2063. The Head of State, H.E. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera also pledged that his administration will continue with youth-aligned policies and programmes across the nation, for they are crucial in the transitioning of Malawi into a self-reliant and inclusively wealthy nation.

The Head of State H.E Dr. Lazarus Chakwera making his remarks

The event also provided “Networking Zones” for young people and various stakeholders from development agencies and the government. Through the networking zones, young people interacted with different stakeholders and discussed social issues and developmental issues. The platform also provided an opportunity for exploration of ways to foster potential partnerships.

Stakeholders from PAN AFRICAN interacting with young people.

Other activities during the IYD commemoration event were sports, live music and dance performances and SRH service provision. Young people from both Lilongwe urban and rural as well as a few other districts were present at the event.

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Remembering the Suicide Awareness Month

Remembering the Suicide Awareness Month

Every September, the world celebrates efforts in addressing suicide and mental health issues. We have pretty much seen various messages, hashtags, and flyers with a lot of conversations centered around mental health and encouraging men to talk about their issues. We have all seen the "talk to someone" posts or the "it does not make you any less of a man to seek mental health help" quotes. We have also seen the statistics attached to men on cases of suicide. Many young people (myself included) have resorted to other ways of handling mental health issues other than seeking professional help. But can we blame us? There are hardly professional counselors in our public hospitals. Therapy sessions are barely affordable and when we open up to someone, chances are high that you'll find your issues trending on social media the next day.

Even if you open up to your parents and close friends, you are bound to be hit with stigma and the "man up" statements. The last thing anyone wants to hear when they are in a bad mental place is "you are strong". No, they are not, that is why they are seeking help and opening up. When I was hit with mental health issues, all I wanted was to feel accepted and not be labeled as suffering from a white people problem.

Today, we are witnessing several mental health movements and initiatives, including the toll-free counseling lines (which hardly incorporate the majority), institutions, and organizations encouraging people to seek mental health help. But are we doing enough along these lines? We encourage people to go and seek help, only for them to not find the help they need in our institutions at an affordable price. The justification is always "your health is expensive, you should be willing to pay a price for it". With minimum incorporation of mental health in the general health program, we are bound to continue suffering from the effects of a neglected health sector.

Going forward, what direction would we want to see Malawi take in addressing mental health issues and taking the rising cases of suicide seriously? Increased capacity building for mental health professionals in public hospitals, prioritization of mental health in health plans and programs, and more development partners and organizations should commit to mental health causes and not just in statements. There is a need to increase mental health awareness through peer engagement, creating safe spaces for mental health discussions, taking mental health discussions to hard-to-reach areas, and harnessing the use of digital media. These would kickstart our quest in addressing mental health issues.

As Suicide Awareness Month is coming to an end, remember, you are not alone.

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Announcing Changemakers Programme 2021!

We are thrilled to announce the new cohort of our signature leadership programme, Youth Wave Changemakers Programme (https://youthwavemalawi.org/changemakers-programme/) Having received hundreds of applicants, we have selected the crème de la crème of youth leaders with track record of leadership and proven community footprints in their respective districts. The Changemakers will develop skills and acquire crucial knowledge that will improve the quality and amplitude of their impact for the next 6-12 months. This is a unique opportunity for these talented young leaders to inspire fellow youths and create a significant positive impact in their communities and beyond. Congratulations!   Download the list of selected changemakers here
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Malawi For Mandatory Wearing of Face Masks

Government of Malawi has gazetted rules and regulations, under Public Health Act and have taken a strong stand on mandatory wearing of masks in public places as a measure to contain the public health crisis COVID -19 pandemic.

With the surge increase of numbers of COVID-19 positive cases that is causing more damage including deaths, Hon Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda who is the Minister of Health in exercise of powers vested in her under the Public Health Act, has issued the subsidiary legislation on Coronavirus and COVID-19 aimed accelerating the efforts in containing the pandemic.

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