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Archives September 2018

Father Mwale and the youth rally participants
Father Mwale Urges Young People to Make Right Vocational and Career Choices

Phillip H Chisi CMA

Father Joachim Mwale of St Mary’s Parish has urged young people to set right career and vocational goals and strive to achieve them if they are too lead a happy life in adulthood.

Father Mwale and the youth rally participants
Father Mwale and the youth rally participants


Father Joachim Mwale, who is also Vocations Director for the Diocese of Karonga, said this at St Mary’s Parish during a youth rally organized by the parish from 3rd to 6th September, 2018. Father Mwale, said settling in a wrong profession or vocation makes people live a life of regret for failing to lead a life they intended to live.

He urged the youth to seek vocational guidance if they are to make choices that are in line with their human potentialities. He further said right vocational guidance, from experienced and trained people, helps young people to achieve their goal and vocation.

 “Every individual has to personally discern their vocation before actually making a definite choice. Set goals and objective and use all necessary measures to work hard towards achieving them,” Father Mwale added.

This year’s youth rally gathered over 90 youth from all the three zones of the parish. The youth rally and its binding activities centred on vocational discernment, reproductive health, career and vocational talks as well as motivational talks.

During the rally, Sister Ruth Ghambi gave a talk on the path to sisterhood under the Sisters of Holy Rosary congregation. Mr. Campion Mkolongo gave a talk on marriage as a vocation. Career talks were given by Grego Lusale from the Pastoral Commission, Grace Msukwa from Tuntufye Radio and Phillip Chisi, Catechetical Methodology Advisor for St Mary’s Parish. Father Joseph Sikwese made a presentation on Articles of Catholic Faith while Moses Mwakisalu of CCJP talked about youth participation in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

One of the beneficiaries of the vocational skills training programme
Communities in Traditional Authority Mwenemisuku Impressed with Youth Vocational Skills Training

By Gibson Ngwira

Communities in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwenemisuku have expressed happiness for the vocational skills training for the youths at Chipwela being implemented by the Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga in the area.

One of the beneficiaries of the vocational skills training programme
One of the beneficiaries of the vocational skills training programme
Vocational skills training in progress
Vocational skills training in progress








Speaking on behalf of the communities, Senior Group Village Headman Mwenechipwela in Misuku, Manuel Msukwa, applauded the initiative as a welcome development especially coming at a time like this when the youths are staying idle and jobless.

He said that this is one of the many projects implemented by the Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga in the T/A Mwenemisuku.

”This is very good and is in line with youth empowerment programmes”, he pointed out. “This is very significant for the economic empowerment of the youth as they will be able to do businesses on their own.”

He continued to say that the youth could not travel long distances to Lufita, Kasama and Misuku centers where the trainings were taking place. He thanked the desk from bringing skills training to the area meaning they will be accessible.

GVH Mwenechipwela said the youth in Malawi, including those in Mwenemisuku, need to be empowered through several vocational skills training chosen by the youths themselves so that they contribute positively to the social and economic development of the country.

“We need (as community members) to embrace the concept of vocational skills training being implemented by the Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga so that youths are trained within the project implementation period,” he said.

Secretary for the skills training center committee, Kiddy Kayuni, said that they will take every step and strategy to ensure effective implementation of the trainings in the impact area.

“As a committee, we have the capacity to help the instructors and the 40 students registered at the center to carry out their work accordingly. We will build support, persuade and collaborate with the Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga with programmes that can help people in different areas,” said Kayuni.

The Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga is implementing a three year project called “Integrated Rural Development.” The project is being implemented in one the area of one Traditional Authority in Karonga and three T/As in Chitipa, including Mwenemisuku with support from Misereor in Germany.

Among the four objectives, the project will make sure that 160 youths, between the ages of 18 and 35, have undergone informal vocational skills training in carpentry, tailoring and bricklaying.

Tamika addressing her fellow CAG members
Wasambo CAGS Chairperson Call for Voluntarily Spirit among Members

By Vincent Bwinga

The Chairperson for Community Action Group (CAG) from Senior Traditional Authority Wasambo, Tamika Mtawali, has called on fellow members to truly work without expecting monetary gains (spirit of volunteerism) if they are to successfully contribute to transparency and accountability in management of development resources in their area.

Tamika addressing her fellow CAG members
Tamika addressing her fellow CAG members

Tamika said this on 13 September, 2018 during the training workshop at Wasambo Hall organized by Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese on Citizen Action In local government Accountability Project. The project is being implemented with funding from Irish government through Danish Church Aid.

Speaking during the meeting, Tamika Mtawali said that efforts for organizations like Justice and Peace fail because people who are identified on the ground look to what they can benefit from the project individually. He urged them to consider what our area has lost before this project.

“We have learnt a lot about the local development resources and the role that we should play in making sure that development activities are well participated by the communities in a transparent and accountable manner. Our duty bearers have not taken deliberate efforts to provide information because they wanted the community to stay blind and continue mismanaging public fund,” said Tamika.

Further commenting on the training Tamika said, many communities beg for development projects instead of demanding because they don’t realize that it is their right. She commended the Right Based Approach to Development topic and said it relieved them from fear to demand for development activities as their right and hold duty bearers accountable.

After the training, CAG members geared up to take an active role in tracking the allocation and utilization of local development activities taking place in their area realizing what they lost due to limited knowledge and fear among community members.

Tamika Mtawali is one of the few confident young women engaged by the project to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Community Action Group

CALGA Project Coordinator Vincent Bwinga stressing a point during the orientation
CAG Members Reveal Gaps in the Implementation of Development Projects

By Vincent Bwinga

Community Action Group (CAG) members from Lupembe and Mbande ADC have expressed concern that guidelines for development projects under Constituency Development Fund, District Development Fund, and Local Development Funds are not being followed in the implementation of projects.

CALGA Project Coordinator Vincent Bwinga stressing a point during the orientation
CALGA Project Coordinator Vincent Bwinga stressing a point during the orientation

Speaking during the orientation workshop at Club Marina in Karonga, on 11 September 2018, Gilbert Msukwa said they were amazed why implementers of local development projects choose not to follow the guidelines which are very clear.

He cited CDF guidelines which demand for members of parliament to engage Area Development Committees (ADCs) and councilors, in identification of projects with reference to the District Development Plan, which is not the case in his area.

“Projects are implemented without project implementation committees (PICs) and funds are being managed as personal funds. This is a direct contrast to what is outlined in the guidelines,” said Msukwa.

Also commenting during the workshop, Mercy Ndovie said the district council gets 5% from funds allocated to District Development Funds for monitoring among others but projects are not being visited. She questioned how the 5% money is being spent.

“DDF projects are not being supervised which leads to poor quality and others remain incomplete for years,” said Mercy Ndovie.

Community Action Group members hailed the Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese for coming up with Citizen Action in Local Government Accountability (CALGA) project which they said has equipped them on how they can monitor and track public resources.

CAG members promised to intensify community awareness on local development resources guidelines and demand for transparency and accountability where necessary.

CALGA project is being implemented by the Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese in Karonga and Chitipa districts with funding from Irish Government through Danish Church Aid.

"A New Happy Family" Karonga Diocese Staff with Father Kumwenda (in green chasuble) after the retreat
2018 Annual Retreat for Karonga Diocese Staff Members

By Leah Nyondo

From 7th to 9th September, 2019, sixty staff Karonga Diocese staff members rested from their usual cares and retreated to Nkhatabay Pastoral Centre for their annual spiritual retreat.

"A New Happy Family" Karonga Diocese Staff with Father Kumwenda (in green chasuble) after the retreat
“A New Happy Family” Karonga Diocese Staff with Father Kumwenda (in green chasuble) after the retreat

This is usually a special moment where staff members renew their commitment to God, examine their priorities in life and make concrete and practical resolutions to shape the direction of their lives. Retreats also allow people to rekindle their relationship with Christ.

The preacher of the retreat, Father Martin Kumwenda, carefully selected the theme “The New Happy Family” and focused on the importance of unity at all levels.

Preaching during the retreat, Father Kumwenda stressed that God wants his children to gather as family. He made biblical references to the families of Noah, Abraham, and political alliances in the Bible which gathered people together as a family.

Making reference to Jesus’ sacerdotal prayer in John 17:1-24, where He called for unity among believers, Father Kumwenda said Jesus wants all of us to be in one happy home.

“We are invited to this new happy family.  As members who work together at the Curia, we are also a family. Do we individually have any sense of having a family? Where are we on this God given task of gathering families?” asked Father Kumwenda.

Father Kumwenda also highlighted vices that lead people to break away from one big family such as addction, selfishness and unhealthy competition.

He said addiction is really a disease and it emanates from how we utilize goods of the earth. He said addictions on money, alcohol and drugs and others if not controlled can make us powerless. He then spent time to outline the steps towards recovering from addictions to regain our position in one happy family.

Silence, which is a key companion of spiritual retreats, was emphasized as a catalyst to deep spiritual reflection. Spiritual reading, Sacrament of Confession and Mass formed part of the days of prayer.

Lastly, staff members thanked the Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga, who apart from encouraging professional growth and high standards of performance among his staff members, he also promotes their spiritual growth. They expressed gratitude to the Bishop for providing the necessary resources to conduct the retreat.

Traditional authorities of Chitipa and Karonga with CCJP Officers
Karonga and Chitipa Chief’s Council Adopt the Creation of Chiefs’ Wives Association at T/A Level

By Vincent Bwinga

Traditional Authority Kilupula of Karonga says the creation of Chiefs’ Wives Association at Traditional Authority level will assist in making the forum accessible to all wives of traditional leaders in Chitipa and Karonga and hence fight against violence against women and children.

Traditional authorities of Chitipa and Karonga with CCJP Officers
Traditional authorities of Chitipa and Karonga with CCJP Officers

Traditional Authority Kilupula said this in Chitipa District, when he represented Paramount Chief Kyungu, at the Chiefs’ Council meeting. He said that traditional leaders established the Chiefs’ Wives Association at District Council level in 2017 but is has not been bearing fruits due to long distances.

The Chiefs convened the 22nd to 23rd August, 2018 meeting to review the action plan that was made in 2017 and deliberate on new approaches in ending violence against women and children in the two districts. The meeting was held in collaboration with the Justice and Peace Desk on the UN Women funded HeforShe project. The project seeks to end violence against women and children through male engagement.

During the two-day meeting the Chief’s Council adopted the creation of Chiefs’ Wives Association at Traditional authority level to enhance advocacy and sensitization efforts to end violence at the community level. The traditional leaders also adopted the creation of Men against Violence Against Women Forums to bring into the dialogue as agents of change for gender equality by championing the fight.

Commenting during the meeting, Traditional Authority Mwenewenya settled for binding district bylaws for uniformity in approaches and effectiveness of the project in the district. The traditional leader said the current bylaws can easily be challenged in the court of law. He, therefore, he appealed to the Chief’s Council to push for the signing of Chitipa district Bylaws.

In the process of eliminating violence against women and children, Karonga Chitipa chief’s council is a forum of Traditional Authorities from Karonga and Chitipa with readership of paramount chief Kyungu as patron for the forum and champion for HeforShe project in Malawi.

The Chief’s Council was formed to facilitate the work of chiefs in ending violence against women and children; to be a mouthpiece for all chiefs and their subjects in Chitipa/ Karonga; to spearhead the fight against harmful cultural practices and to promote girl child education.

The meeting was organized by Chiefs council and Justice and Peace of Karonga Diocese on HeforShe project being implemented in the Karonga District. All Traditional Authorities from Chitipa and Karonga were represented.

Young people displaying dresses they have made
Development Desk Rolls out Vocational Skills Training to 160 Youths in Karonga and Chitipa

By Elijah Banda

The Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga has rolled out vocational skills training in carpentry, bricklaying and tailoring to 160 youths in Karonga and Chitipa districts.

This is one of the interventions under the Integrated Rural Development Project which is being funded by MISEREOR – Germany.

Young people displaying skirts they have sewn
Young people displaying skirts they have sewn

The training programme will impart skills on young people, in the three trades, to enable them open their own workshops. This is one way of helping the youth to generate income to support their households and guard themselves against being used as instruments of violence.

Speaking on the sidelines of the opening sessions of the trainings in Chitipa, the Development Desk Officer Mr Franklin Msiska urged the participants to take the trainings seriously by attending all the sessions.

Your contribution to the program is your participation, as such you should ensure that you attend every training session so that at the end, the certificate of attendance should represent your true knowledge and skills gained,” said Msiska.

Tailoring lessons in progress
Tailoring lessons in progress

Speaking on behalf of the trainees in Chisenga, Emily Kanyuka thanked Karonga Diocese for the informal trainings which she described as beneficial to the youth once completed. She observed that there is high demand for the services in various communities.

“The trainings will empower us to help our households in income generation. This will enable us to contribute positively to the development of the nation unlike being given handouts by some individuals to incite violence in the communities,” said Kanyuka.

The Karonga and Chitipa Integrated Rural Development Project is being run for two years. The project supports young people who did not go beyond Malawi School Certificate of Education, who mostly do not qualify for formal tertiary education.

Justice and Peace Desk Prepares Female Aspirants for 2019 Elections

By Elliness Mbowe and Vincent Bwinga

The Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese on 31st August, 2018 conducted a training workshop for women aspirants from different political parties and independent candidate in Karonga District in preparation for 2019 tripartite elections.

Women aspirants from Karonga District with their facilitators
Women aspirants from Karonga District with their facilitators

The training sought to increase women’s chances of winning in the forthcoming elections against the background of poor representation of women in political positions. For instance, Karonga District has only one female councillor out of 10 ward councilors. There is also no female Member of Parliament in the area under Karonga Diocese.

This state of affairs has been attributed to women’s limited understanding of political tactics, intricacies of political parties they represent. Despite the Gender Equality Act and other instruments, there is lack of deliberate measures by government or political parties to promote the participation of women in politics.

Victoria Msowoya an entrepreneur sharing her experience during the training
Victoria Msowoya an entrepreneur sharing her experience during the training

The training, therefore, focused on assisting women aspirants on mobilizing resources for campaign, effective campaign strategies, presentation skills, self-marketing during campaign. The women were also assisted to understand the electoral cycle of the country.

This instilled confidence, and self-reliance among women as they are approaching campaign period for 2019 May tripartite elections.

Speaking during the training, Tamala Mujilembe from Khwaba Ward who is representing DEPECO said the training has motivated them to continue with an idea of representing their wards at the council.

“We are being discouraged by men in our villages that we can’t represent them. With this training we are motivated and empowered that we are all equal. We are not going to be discouraged by all insults. We will remain focused until we achieve our goal,” Said Tamala.

Tamala Mujilembe further commended Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Karonga for the training which was organized with funding from UN Women under the Malawi Electoral Cycle Support project. She expressed optimism that they will succeed in the forthcoming elections.

The women aspirants bemoaned the handout syndrome, which is deeply rooted in their communities, as a big threat for them to succeed in the upcoming elections. They have since requested more support from the Justice and Peace Desk for them to withstand the pressure of elections.

Fifteen out of twenty one women aspirants scouted attended the training. Twenty are aspiring councilors while one is vying for the seat of Member of Parliament for Nyungwe Constituency. These women were scouted from Area Development Committees, political parties, chiefs and women meetings.