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PIUS MKUPHA TAPPING BENEFITS FROM YIA

THROUGH ; Youth In Action ( YIA )

This Project is sponsored by: MasterCard Foundation

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From dire poverty, the 21-Year-old Pius from Chikoza village in the area of Traditional Authority Zulu in Malawi's Central Region district of Mchinji, is all hopeful of the future. At the age of 12, Piusí parents died and without educational support, he dropped out of school in the early grades.

In a country where less than half of learners complete primary education and only 30 percent of the population expected to be in secondary are actually enrolling in secondary education, Youth in Action aims at empowering youth aged between 14 to 18 years with livelihood skills that will enable them to excel in life. The program enrolls youth who dropped out of school and these undergo community based learning, mentoring and coaching towards gaining life and earning or employment skills. Since 2014, over 7000 youths at risk have their trajectories of life changed.

Piusí life has been changed forever, he says. "I am hopeful for the future. I will never be poor. I have gained a lot of skills in YIA project. I can do business, I learnt; - to save money, recording keeping, marketing to attract customers and budgeting". I am thrilled with the MK70,000.00 ($99) I received from YIA Project to support the enterprise I chose to endeavor. Pius is now a vibrant shop owner and crop buyer and seller and a farmer of cash crops. "I intend to invest more in the farming this coming (2017 -2018) rainy season, I will rent 4 acres of land where I will grow soy beans. The sales from the soy beans harvest, I will use to open a bigger shop at one of the big trading centres in this area." Within one year, Pius increased his capital to over $300. He has acquired home assets including a bicycle, opened a bank account out of his businesses' profits. "Itís like a dream that I own such privileged items. I am taking good care of my wife and child. I thank the donor for this invaluable support which has given hope and raised ambitions for my life."

Youth in Action Project is funded by MasterCard Foundation and is being implemented by a consortium of CRECCOM, and Save the Children International.

Story By: Michael Tcheula