One of the four pillars of Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust (AYCT) is Education. This is why in 1989 the trust opened its doors to those boys and girls who had dropped out of school to learn some skills that would make them self reliant.
As years went by, AYCT saw the need to also open some institutions of learning that are given an umbrella name Andiamo Education Institutions (AEI). The institutions that are under AEI are Tiyende Women in Development, Andiamo Technical College, Andiamo Technological Pole, Andiamo Music School, Andiamo Secondary School and four kindergarten schools.
AEI have about 300 students and these exclude kids who learn in the kindergartens that are spread around the areas that cover St. Louis Montfort Parish where the one of the founding trustee of AYCT, Padre Mario Pacifici SMM was once the Parish Priest.
Tiyende Women in Development
This was founded in 1989 and it offers Home Craft. It started as a small group of women coming from 21 outstation of St. Louis Montfort Parish in Mangochi Diocese. The broad objective of this development was to give opportunities to school dropout girls to sustain themselves through Home craft course. It was until 1990 that proper building structures were constructed with funding from Mizzio Germany through Christian Service Committee.
Tiyende Women in Development now offers improved curriculum. The subjects being offered there are the following: Food and Nutrition; Food utilisation and dietary Diversification; Nutrition for Vulnerable groups; Food Preparation, Processing and Preservation; Agriculture and Food Security; Child Care; Water Sanitation and Hygiene; Family life and Management of Family Resources; Textile and Clothing; Small Scale Business and Entrepreneurship; Gender and Development; Factors affecting Utilisation of Social Services; Prevention of Domestic violence and Laws Training; Community Development; Adult Literacy; Housing and Home Management; Communication; First Aid; and Committee Procedures, Group Dynamics and Community Participation.
Andiamo Technical Colleges
Andiamo Technical College opened its doors in 1995 with a sole objective of training school dropouts in carpentry and joinery, Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Tinsmith and brick laying but only achieved the Carpentry and Joinery and Motor Vehicle Mechanics.
The students were recruited from the parishes of Mangochi Diocese. For four years, the college was for boys only but in 1999 female students also enrolled.
Currently the school offers both formal and informal courses in Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Tailoring and Designing, Carpentry and Joinery, and Electrical Installations. All these courses are offered using the syllabus of Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA) a constitutional body of the Malawi government.
Currently 80% of secondary school graduates can neither find employment nor employ themselves, a situation the government of Malawi says needs to change if Malawi is to move out of economic problems facing the country. Technical and vocation skills as offered by Andiamo Technical College help to empower people economically.
Andiamo Technological Pole
It started in the late 90s with a class of at least 20 students. The first course to be introduced was Information Technology for Users. Then students were writing internal examinations (Malawian Exams) from Epson and Omega – and I.T. consultancy firm whose headquarters was in South Africa.
Currently, the school offers Systems support and computer networking, which are administered by City & Guilds and Cisco systems respectively. For the past years the results have been excellent.
Andiamo Music School
This school has been there since the formation of Alleluya Band and Fr. Mario Pacifici who is also the founding Trustee of AYCT officially opened it on 28 November 2007.
The school offers its courses for free because it’s objective is to mould the youth into good future leaders and prevent them from indulging into promiscuous behaviour.
Andiamo Secondary School
Andiamo Secondary School opened its doors in 2009 with Form 1 only. The school offers to places to both boys and girls from all over Malawi and has all the necessary boarding facilities. Boarding fee is very reasonable because it is the objective of AYCT that the youth should access quality education without hurdles.
Meanwhile the school has all the four classes of the secondary school and it is a centre for Malawi Schools Certificate Examination (MSCE).
St. Monica, John Paul II, Chimwemwe and Chikondi Kindergarten Schools
These are kindergarten schools that are situated in Balaka District. In all these schools, children pay no fees but they are offered all the basics including breakfast and lunch. AYCT has a bus that ferries the children to and from the agreed stations to school and back every day without any fee.
In all these schools we have both men and women from the respective areas working (Volunteering). AYCT gives them an upkeep allowance as a gesture of appreciation for the service they are doing to the community.
Compiled by Web Office