“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
(There are no fish in this story, but there is a tinsmith!)
Earlier this year we met Yona, a young man who comes from a village near Balaka in the south of Malawi. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 70% of its population estimated to be living below the poverty line and over 40% to be under the age of 15.
The young people living in Malawi, particularly in rural areas like where Yona lives, therefore face huge challenges as they grow into adulthood. Many have lost one or both of their parents; have never been to, or have dropped out of, school; and have to fight to survive on a day-to-day basis. Without the local infrastructure or enterprise to help them, they can become extremely vulnerable in their teenage years.
We believe that by teaching young people like Yona vocational skills and providing them with the tools to start and grow their own businesses, they can very quickly create lasting momentum and change in their own lives, and in the lives of others.
(We said there were no fish!)
Yona is testament to the phrase, “give a man a fish…” but he, and the many other young people we work with, go far beyond it. By teaching his tinsmith skills to other young people like Fred, building his business and saving for his future, Yona is having an impact on his own life, on his family’s life and on his entire community.