The Youth Desk in the Diocese of Karonga is a Pastoral Arm under the pastoral office of the Diocese. Its main purpose is to look after the Spiritual life of the Youth in the Diocese. It has under its Pastoral care three youth groups. The first group is composed of the Youth in Parishes between the ages of 16 and 25, popularly and locally known as WAUKIRANO. The second group is composed of the Youth in Parishes between the ages of 25 and 35. These are covered under the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement. The third group is composed of the students in secondary schools, covered under the Young Christian Students (YCS) Movement. Of the Catholic population in the Diocese of Karonga more than 8,000 are Registered Youth.
The Youth Desk is headed by a Diocesan Chaplain (currently Fr. Matthews Simwela), who is appointed by the Local Ordinary. He reports to the Local Ordinary through the Pastoral Secretary. He is helped by a Youth Task Force composed of Parish Youth Chaplains and an officer from the Pastoral Secretary’s office. He also works on a daily basis with the Diocesan Youth committee. The desk has then a well – coordinated structure of committees as follows:
|Diocesan Youth Task-Force
|Parish Chaplains/Pastoral Officer
|Diocesan Youth Chaplain
|Diocesan Youth Committee
|Youth Elected Members From all Parishes in the Diocese
|Diocesan Youth Chairperson and Diocesan Youth Chaplain
|2 Deaneries Youth Committees
|Youth Elected Members from all Parishes under particular Deaneries
|Deanery Youth Chairperson and Deanery Youth Chaplain
|Parish Youth Committees
|Youth Elected from all zones in a particular Parish
|Parish Youth Chairperson and Parish Chaplain
|Zone Committees Zone
|Youth Elected from all Outstations in a particular
|Zone Youth Chairperson and a Catechist
|Youth Elected from all Substations in a particular Outstation
|Outstation Youth Chairperson at least two Parents (wakhuwirizgi)
|Youth Elected from all Small Christian Communities
|Substation Youth Chairperson and at least two parents (wakhuwirizgi)
To ensure that the spiritual life of the Youth is well taken care of the Youth desk is involved in a number of activities. With the help of the Diocesan Pastoral Commission the desk is working on catechetical literature for the Youth. Recollections and min-rallies are organized for continuous faith formation at different levels. The youth are also involved in liturgical services for the same purpose of their spiritual nourishment. At a diocesan level the Youth organises a Youth Rally every year. Below is a picture showing the youth attentively listening to catechetical lessons during the Diocesan Youth Rally in 2016.
b. Income Generating Activities
To ease the running of the office the desk mobilises funds in different ways at different levels; for example, through membership fees which every member subscribes when collecting one’s membership card, and different investments like buying and selling of agricultural food products and running of printing and photo-copying small business. The youth are also involved in farming for the same purpose and below are some of the pictures showing the youth involved in vegetable farming.