Youth activist Alice Muyambo created the project Alice Muto to unlock the skills and talents that young people possess even if they are not always aware of them.
Through her project, Muyambo works with young people from underprivileged backgrounds and nurtures their skills and talents in a formal way to help improve their skills to generate an income.
Her work involves empowering young people to realise that they have special abilities and can nurture those to generate an income. Part of the programme focuses on teaching them how to improve these abilities, and how to apply these skills at school and in problem solving.
The main objective of the project is to empower the youth to realise that some hobbies or abilities they may deem meaningless could actually be big income generating capabilities that they possess without knowing it.
In order to ensure that these young people are also able to focus on their school work, Muyambo has designed a schedule that measures their production rates against the time that they spend on their school work, to ensure that there is a balance in the time spent on talent development and education.
Her role is to also help these young people to find a market for the services and products that they are able to produce. The income that they generate from their skills and talents is used for their school needs, and a certain percentage saved for future use. Through the programme, Alice manages purchases of stationery and other school necessities to ensure that the funds are not misused by the guardians or the children.
The project has been instrumental in keeping young people off the streets and keeping them busy after school, and as they come from underprivileged backgrounds, addressing some of their financial needs. The project also safeguards the interests of the child by removing them from danger-prone environments and keeping them in spaces where they are being monitored and are using their time efficiently.
Muyambo says that from a very young age, she could recognise the potential in all people, and has always known that everyone has a purpose. She strongly believes that the contributions she is making in underprivileged communities is her calling to close the gap in her society.
Looking ahead into the next five years, her vision is to support at least 50 young people through the programme and to teach them how to become self-reliant by using their skills and talents. She also envisions growing her brand, Alice Muto, to start hosting arts and skills mentorship programmes.
She believes that it is important for young people to first change their lives to be able to transform the communities in which they live, and the broader society. This is how Africa will address its challenges. In addition, the continent must begin to break away from a culture of dependency on foreign aid to become more self-sufficient; focused on developing SADC inclusive approaches that allow for regional integration and programmes that can uplift young people to contribute towards the development of the region’s economies.
She is of the view that the youth have the ability to create an environment that will bring about change for future generations.