Youth Empowered for God [YeGo]
The concept was born in prayer in a rural community in Swaziland called Hluthi in 2000 where I had visited Pastor Jeremiah Dlamini for seclusion and prayer. It was impressed on my heart to focus my attention on empowering young people to become better citizens of the world by embracing their God given talents and gifts in changing their situations. The concept began within the church where the author had opportunities of interaction with the youth of Swaziland through speaking engagements in youth activities and conferences.
The Lord gave me Platforms in school fellowships, University of Swaziland [UNISWA] Christian Charismatic Fellowship, UNISWA Lunch Fellowship, Non-Denominational Churches and main line churches especially the Assemblies, Anglican and Evangelical denominations. And in all these churches I saw the energy, zeal, and determination of the youth which I felt in my heart needed to be focused on serving God and improving their quality of life and their livelihoods. A number of young people were brilliant but had either not graduated from high school because of poor performance in Mathematics, English, and Sciences. Another group was the cohort that graduated but didn’t have good grades for them to go into tertiary institutions.
Tutoring and Mentoring
The church has many professionals, so as a Pastor and leader in the ministry, I organized English, Mathematics and Sciences teachers within the church to tutor our youth during school holidays. The project was held at my house in Manzini, and students who participated in these classes improved their grades, some of them went to tertiary level and some decided on different career paths. The church and the community have professionals who can tutor our youth and be role models to them. This was seen as an avenue that had not been explored in the church, there was a lot of enthusiasm without adequate financial resources. With this fully pursued it will serve the younger generation, help them make better life decisions and contribute significantly to their societies.
This project brings together institutions like banks, universities, colleges, vocational skills trainers, employers, non-governmental organizations and small businesses to one location for the youth to interact with them. It avails an opportunity for the youth to ask questions from the institutions themselves. Bringing these institutions closer to the youth helps them to network with them at the same time expose them to what is available out there so that they can grab whatever opportunity is available. Institutions that participate in the Career Expo make financial contributions, the money raised is donated to young people [to be identified] as a revolving capital base for aspiring small business initiatives.
Youth and interested individuals come together for skills building. This is done as per need and or request. The Platform has access to accredited modules on leadership and governance, financial management, project identification, and management. Participants trained using these modules will receive credits which they can use whenever the need arises. In the future, The Platform will conduct training and link participants to resources, because over the years participants have lost the momentum built during training because of lack of resources to initiate projects and business ideas.
A dream to empower communities was birthed in me years ago, the initial focus was the youth. But as time went on, my energies also included other community members who had the need for empowerment. As part of the Platform initiatives, I am in the process of networking with like-minded individuals and organizations both in Swaziland and internationally who will help the Platform in tapping into people’s skills and strengths so that they can use these to empower themselves. The idea is to build a fully fledged empowerment center that will utilize skills of professionals who have the same burden of teaching communities to fish not give them the fish. I know as people visit the Platform they will be touched to back and support this initiative.