Some of you have already heard about Thondwe Youth Skills Development Organisation (THOYODO) but for sure there are others who have never heard about the organization. THOYODO is a youth led organization which was established in January 2011 to empower the youth and improve the living standard of many young people around Thondwe area in Zomba Malawi by providing them with vocational artisan skills and HIV/AIDS prevention awareness among other activities.
Through THOYODO, we help needy students from our community with school fees and materials where we can. We also conduct various activities for the youth in our community including empowering them with basic computer skills, video editing, carpentry, electrical repairs skills, welding skills, brick laying, recycling skills, art and sign writing, sports competitions among other empowerment activities.We will soon be moving into a new and exciting phase where in the next year or two, we plan to establish the THOYODO Computer Training Center where our youth will learn different skills including how to assemble, repair, network, configure and support computers. This center will form part of the Thondwe Academy of Learning (Zomba Institute of Technology, Thondwe Campus), the preamble to our dream of Zomba Institute of Technology.
After working with the youth in the Thondwe area for several years, we realized that there was a huge gap in the foundation stages of their education. We noted that our area had a lot of children who went into primary school without going through preparatory learning. Therefore, we established the THOYODO Nursery School. Like all other THOYODO programs, we operate the school from the back of one of the business buildings around the Thondwe Trading Center.The initiative was started with 12 children after we noticed undesirable performance among pupils from Thondwe area in early primary school. Currently, the nursery school has 116 children who are classified in three groups according to age. The main objective is to prepare a good foundation for the children before they go into primary school.
Through THOYODO we monitor the performance of our children when they transition into the mainstream education system. The impact of the initiative has been great but we can always improve. Despite our limited resources, our pupils have done very well and many of the current children at the nursery are showing show great potential. Parents from the area are also very impressed and that is why the number of our pupils has been growing at almost every intake.
Our dream in the near future, is to establish a small class-sized primary school into which pupils from our nursery school will graduate so that our pupils can progress through a structured and easily monitored program linked to vocational skills and trades training and paths to tertiary education.
Being in a rural setting, we fail to meet the demands of well qualified teachers to introduce primary school classes. But we will cross that bridge later. For now, our main focus is to ensure that we send to the local primary schools children that have had a good learning foundation.For those parents of some of our pupils who can afford, they pay a small contribution. Otherwise the rest of the costs for running the nursery school comes from THOYODO well-wishers and through fund raising drives that I have been conducting for THOYODO among my friends and networks; hereinafter referred to as Friends of THOYODO. Raising the fees will be an issue of social exclusion as very few people in our community can afford to pay higher fees. Our biggest and immediate challenge is lack of learning and teaching aids. We would also like to have our classes painted so that they become a conducive environment to stimulate the minds of children.
If you would like to support this initiative, please contact hfnyekanyeka at gmail dot com
Please pass this along, including the contact email to anyone whom you think might support our cause.
We will look forward to hearing from you and will send you banking details upon request if you would like to contribute to our initiatives at this time and/or in future.
My friends in the corporate world, please remember THOYODO in your Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.
The youth and we the people from our area of Thondwe will appreciate any support that you might send our way.
Open your hearts Friends of THOYODO . Help us organize against poverty.
Thank You in advance.
We would also like to ask anyone reading this post to find out if you can get together with others in your community or area to champion similar community-based initiatives and THOYODO will be readily available to share our experiences . Remember that the best people to transform your community is you, the people of your community.
Let’s Do This!
Fukula Hastings Nyekanyeka
hfnyekanyeka at gmail dot com