On Thursday, November 16th, Ngodzi Community Day Secondary School in Salima bloomed with excitement as mentors from the Youth Empowerment and Support Initiative (YESI) conducted an impactful mentorship session.

In attendance were over 200 students from the surrounding villages. The mentors delved into vital topics including academic excellence, career guidance, mastering time management, and crafting smart goals. While the insights shared were invaluable, it was the mentors’ personal stories that ignited inspiration among the students. The students began to see their current challenges as manageable hurdles on their path to achieving their dreams.

Fatson Tembo, a form four student, expressed deep gratitude for the session, revealing how it had widened his perspective. Aspiring for an engineering career, he felt a lack of guidance in the steps needed to achieve his goal. He pledged to improve and urged the mentors to extend their helpful services to students in other schools who could benefit similarly.

Deputy Head Teacher Mr Gaspa Chinyama praised the topics covered by YESI mentors, acknowledging the gap in guiding students toward their career paths despite their broad academic exposure. He affirmed the commitment of teachers to reinforce YESI’s lessons, ensuring a lasting impact.

The mentorship team that visited the school comprised graduates and undergraduates from various colleges, led by Aaron Malunga, YESIโ€™s Assistant Mentorship Coordinator. This diverse team of seven mentors included two exceptional women, Memory Mzinza and Fyness Phiri, and four equally passionate men; Andrew Khongola, Elijah Chikumba, Michael Banda, and Felix Mdulamitu.

Their eagerness to share experiences with secondary students aspiring for university placements was evident, providing a rare opportunity for students to connect with such inspiring role models. The session served as a valuable platform for exploring diverse career paths in line with individual abilities and passions. Together, they formed a dedicated cohort committed to guiding and empowering students toward a brighter future.

Elijah Chikumba, a mentor in his third year pursuing a bachelorโ€™s degree in Sustainable Energy Systems at Malawi University of Science and Technology, hailed the mentorship session as a catalyst for students’ dreams. He encouraged fellow university students to join YESI, contributing to the bright futures of secondary school students across the board.

Since 2017, YESI has been actively mobilizing university students and graduates to venture out and inspire secondary school students in Salima district. Beyond mentorship, YESI extends support to academically gifted yet financially needy students in partner schools across the district. This holistic approach aims to empower students across various spectrums, fostering both guidance and practical assistance for a brighter academic journey.