This is the message that Timveni a Youth and child media organization is giving to young people across the country through a project called Amplifying children voices through participation. The project is using some of the country’s popular artists including musicians to engage the youth in discussing issues affecting their lives.
Ernest Makanda, Public Relations Officer for Timveni said the project has been engaging children and young people to speak out on issues that affect them in communities.
Makanda made the remarks at Nkhotakota Youth Organisation during an interface show with the youth. He said for so long people have been thinking for children and young people but this program would want to take issues straight from them and do something.
'Last year we identified about 16 urban artists , we took them to four Plan Malawi impact districts of Mzimba Kasungu, Lilongwe and Mulanje where they met young people and interacted with them on different issues. From those issues the artists were able to compose four songs, so we know that music reaches out to more people who will listen to the stories', indicated Makanda.
He said so far there has been a great impact on how young people voice out the challenges facing them through interaction with music artists unlike sitting in the office and brainstorm on the issues.
Makanda however said at the moment the program works with different Government offices like district youth offices and highlight the challenges young people have brought up during the interface.
During the interface music artists Faith Mussa and Sange attest to the fact that young people have a voice that can be heard by the authorities through art.
'Young people should realise that they have a voice and it is their responsibility to make sure that their voice is heard and change things,' said Faith Mussa.
Sponsorship and Programs Coordinator for Plan Malawi Daff Kachilonda Phiri said since the program started there has been a huge change in how young people are coming out to hold public officials accountable.
'We have seen the youth coming out with confidence in themselves, scrutinizing the budget at district level, advocating for children rights, right from the villages and youth representation at area development committee, which is encouraging. These are all some of the fruits of the program and we are proud of it,' boasted Kachilonda Phiri.
He said the program is expected to reach all districts in the country to enable youths take part in changing their lives for better.