Youth empowerment initiative launched

SPORT, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa

SPORT, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa officially launched the Young People Empowerment and Development Trust (YPEDT), a youth organisation aimed at helping the underprivileged to be innovative and creative in order to sustain themselves.

Melody Chimhau/
Privilege Shoko

The launch, being the first of its kind in Matabeleland, was welcomed by various youths who showed willingness to utilise it.

In a speech read on his behalf, Langa said the ministry was ready to provide resources to the youths of Zimbabwe because they were the majority citizens and the future of the country.

“We are prepared to provide access to the development of skills and competencies for improved and increased productivity to youths,” Langa said.

“It is our mandate and priority this year to develop entrepreneurship in the sport industry, creative industry and cultural industry.”

According to statistics, youths in Zimbabwe are the majority making is 84,2% of the country’s population, hence the need for them to be developed.

The founding trustee of the YPEDT, Geneva Sibanda, said the organisation was non-political and got its inspiration from the poverty he saw after travelling to some areas in Matabeleland North.

“It’s a way of ploughing back to the community and we are not going to spoon-feed the underprivileged, but as an organisation we are going to jumpstart them,” he said.

“This organisation will not be derailed by politicians. I am not depending on donors, but if donors can assist the better. We hope in time the organisation will expand to different parts of the country.”

The organisation which consists of nine board members, is looking at helping 3 900 youths by giving them the opportunity to go back to school or start income-generating projects.

Trainers will be provided to teach the youths and the YPEDT members have vowed to work hard and reach as many youths as possible to empower them.