NATIONAL YOUTH LOCAL GOVERNANCE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM –UNDEF PROJECT
The Malawi Human Rights Youth Network has embarked on an internship program for eighty youth from various youth organizations in Malawi. The youth have been attached in city and district councils for a period of one month for them to be acquainted with how the councils conduct their business especially in the planning and development department. This capacity building initiative is one of the key activities of the project the network is implementing with funding from United Nation Democracy Fund (UNDEF) since December 2014. The objective of the project is to empower the youth to effectively participate in local governance issues from the grassroots level. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and rural development in Malawi
The background of the internship program is that the government of Malawi is already committed to provide internships in order to give youth the much needed experience required by most employers of prospective employees especially on local governance issues. The issue of internship has persistently been highlighted and reaffirmed by the State President in many of his speeches. Therefore, the project has taken advantage of this window of opportunity to organise an internship program targeting 80 youths (40 male and 40 female) deserving youth, those who excelled during the quiz while during the training, in various local councils. The interns have been attached for a period of one month (May to June). The MHRYN will evaluate the participating interns at the end of the program. It is expected that upon completion of these programs, the youth will be able to interact and participate more in local governance structures, and that there will be more willingness among decision-makers and communities to accept youth contribution during decision-making processes. The internships will also bolster relationships between the youth and duty bearers, which will go a long way in ensuring networking, appreciation of each other’s respective roles and enhancing cohesion among them, which is essential for the sustainability of the project beyond its life span. Following the internships, participants will be required to produce reports and complete questionnaires as a way of monitoring and evaluation of the activity.