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Budding Independence:

The Beekeeping Journey of Mzinda Youth Club with Titukulane

In Malawi, the potential of many youth often remains untapped, restrained by limited resources and a lack of knowledge and skills necessary for pursuing sustainable careers.

Recognizing this prevalent challenge faced by a promising yet disempowered demographic, the Titukulane project intervened with its livelihood and resilience-building initiatives tailored for the youth.

The Titukulane initiative, funded by USAID as a Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA), aims to ensure fair, lasting, and robust food and nutritional security

 for extremely impoverished and consistently at-risk households and communities in Zomba and Mangochi districts. This comprehensive objective is pursued through three specific focal points, addressing Food Security and Livelihoods, Health and Nutrition, as well as bolstering Resilience capacity within these areas.

Among the beneficiaries of this initiative was the Mzinda Youth Club in the heart of Mzinda village, nestled within T/A Bwananyambi’s jurisdiction. Prior to Titukulane’s intervention, the youth grappled with unfulfilled potential, their aspirations hindered by the absence of opportunities and resources essential for their growth.

Titukulane’s arrival marked a turning point for the club and the individual members. The project’s focus on livelihood and resilience-building initiatives left vocational skills and economically empowered the youth club members through beekeeping. The club members underwent training in diverse vocations, equipping themselves with practical skills essential for sustainable careers which they currently embark on. Benjamin Chidu, the club’s chairman, is a testament to the transformative impact of Titukulane. With newfound tailoring skills and the provision of a start-up grant that enabled him to purchase a sewing machine, Benjamin’s outlook on the future is new, embodying the shift from uncertainty to optimism that the project brought forth in his life.

However, one standout venture among their pursuits was beekeeping—an economic endeavour that promises empowerment and financial sustainability for the group. To support this initiative, the project supplied 20 beehives installed within the forest, emphasizing Titukulane’s dedication to nurturing economic self-reliance among the youth, complementing its efforts in natural resource management. Additionally, the project’s facilitators committed to aiding the club in marketing their honey, offering valuable lessons on sustainable marketing practices for the club’s continued success.

Yet, a hurdle emerged—a lack of necessary beekeeping equipment, particularly bee suits. This obstacle threatens the club’s ability to effectively tend to the hives and monitor the progress of their beekeeping efforts. Despite the setback of the missing bee suits, the Mzinda Youth Club remains resolute in their pursuit of harnessing the potential of beekeeping, embodying the resilience and determination instilled by the Titukulane project.

By Joseph Daniel Sukali

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