THE MOTIVATION BEHIND PASSION FOR ADVOCACY WORK ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH RIGHTS

Marykb
Posted October 2, 2020 from Malawi

  My passion for children and youth rights activism is ignited by the social realities that have shaped my life. I have experienced, heard and discussed poverty throughout my life, especially in relation to how it affects the livelihoods of young people in Malawi who sadly constitute about 75% of Population. Born some 27 years ago in Blantyre, South of Malawi, I grew up believing that a woman is as able as any person and that like any male counterpart I CAN do anything possible.  I stood up against all the social quagmires to pursue my education and hitherto I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Community Development obtained in 2019 at Pentecostal Life University.  I have also had the privilege of attending a number of human rights courses at regional level, of which one was on human rights but with a special focus on the protection of women’s rights which took place in 2016 at the Police Research Centre of the Police Academy in Cairo, Egypt. It is as a result of trainings of this nature that I became so inclined to, and generated a strong interest in issues revolving around rights of children and young people. Pushed by the zeal to better influence issues regarding the rights of children and the youth issues at policy level,  I competed for public office as Member of Parliament for Zomba Ntonya, east of Malawi during the 2019 tripartite election. My motivation was over 45 thousand young people aged 35 years and below in the area who represent over 75% of the area’s population. I saw that despite their numbers they were least considered when it comes development; Schools were in dilapidated stages, business opportunities were only given to politically connected older people, their sexual and reproductive health rights being suppressed  It was a very stiff competition as I had to face 15 men. Though I did not make to the House of Assembly, I was number two and the majority of the votes I secured came from my fellow youth.  Young people stood for me throughout my campaign and I felt challenged to find another avenue for serving them. The campaign experience cemented my passion the more and compelled me to  found YICO  a youth not for profit organization to promote effective participation of young people in  the sustainable development of Malawi. YICO was founded to serve as a vehicle through which the potential contribution of children and young people will be driven across all sectors. YICO’s operations  revolve around  four thematic areas namely; •    Sexual and reproductive health rights- to respond to rapid over  population growth and the pressure it is exerting on development and particularly livelihoods of young people •    Environment and  climate change – knowing the fast pace at which the environment is being depleted,  and the potential  effect the depletion has to the livelihood of the people •    Education  and ; •    Economic empowerment I used my professional experience and sound interpersonal skill to  put together a multi-talented and multi-disciplinary board of directors headed  by Ms. Fanny Mthunzi, the executive director for the Malawi Universities Development Programme to provide direction and oversight of YICO. Going Forward, Aim not relenting in my cause of advocating for the rights of children and young for I have a firm belief in them as the future human capital for my country Malawi and the world at large. I am geared to contribute in any way possible to see the welfare of children and young people improved.

    

This story was submitted in response to My Voice, Our Equal Future.

Comments 25

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Isaura Diniz
Oct 02, 2020
Oct 02, 2020

You are truly inspiring,
thank you for sharing a piece of you, with us.

Sending light to you,
Isaura

Marykb
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 04, 2020

Hie
Thank you isaura
We will let the light shine at all cost

Dawn Arteaga
Oct 03, 2020
Oct 03, 2020

Wow! Thank you for sharing this powerful story of your amazing life and example. The world needs more people like you in positions of power. Congratulations on your organization as well. Are you considering running for office again? I can't wait to learn more about you - please keep sharing your stories!

Marykb
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 04, 2020

Hello Dawn,
Thank you very much we looking forward for you to come to Malawi for a visit and YICO Team will warmly welcome you as we are the warm heart of Africa ... considering about the office 100% yes I will run again, I will never give up
As young LEADERS we need to be strong and fight for our betta tomorrow

Dawn Arteaga
Oct 05, 2020
Oct 05, 2020

So kind - it would be a dream of mine to get to travel to visit you and all the World Pulse sisters. Until then, I'm grateful to get to travel there through your words and great storytelling.

Andrace
Oct 03, 2020
Oct 03, 2020

Wow! The way to go, Mary. Thumbs up!!! Hearty congratulations on your first post and welcome to World Pulse sisterhood, the place to be indeed.

Best wishes for YICO as its vision and mission are laudable. Our voices must be heard and the time is now. We're all here to support you. I am positive that your next attempt at the House of Assembly would be a walk-over dv. Keep the flag flying high! We must not settle for less.

We look forward to reading more from you. We're eager about the updates.

Love and hugs,
E. J.

Marykb
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 04, 2020

Hey Andrace,
Thank you for the warm welcome and congratulations are in order i will keep the flag high and higher I totally agree with you being a young leader a youth we should never settle for less rather aiming high with sustainable Goals and vision for Development

Nini Mappo
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 04, 2020

Hello Mary,
Welcome to World Pulse and congratulations on such a powerful first post. Good on you for standing up for yourself as a woman and now standing up for the rights of the young people of Malawi. You have such a passion and vision and I truly hope that you can get elected to public office in the future, and raise the young people of Malawi with you to build stronger communities.
All the best for YICO:)

Marykb
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Hello nini
Thank you very much I hope you and family are doing great

Kika Katchunga
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Hello my sister;
it's great to listen to you for the change of your country; the world needs women like you; just a word of courage and I wish you good luck in your projects

Marykb
Oct 08, 2020
Oct 08, 2020

Hi Kika
Thank you sister

MUKABA ZAWADI
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Thank you for sharing the story really you are a woman beating up courage and keep moving forward

Marykb
Oct 10, 2020
Oct 10, 2020

Thank you very much I hope you and family are quite doing well

ARREY- ECHI
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Dear Mary,
Welcome to the Pulse. What a way to come in with a first post.
This is an inspiring story, which warms the heart to see young women taking the lead to fight for their future.
Wishing you all the very best in your future plans.

Marykb
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Thank you sis am humbled

Marykb
Oct 10, 2020
Oct 10, 2020

Hello arrey
Thank you very much dear

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Hello Mary,
A big welcome to World Pulse! What a great story of tremendous change-making. I'm so glad that you included a photo. I can just imagine those in positions who do nothing, shaking in their boots as you speak out with real plans for change, and young people being inspired. Congratulations on being 2nd out of so many. I hope one day before long you get a Government position. Your whole country, especially young people will benefit so much. But nothing stops you. You have built YICO. All the best with everything you are doing.

Marykb
Oct 09, 2020
Oct 09, 2020

Hello
Thank you Tamarack

Akshaya9
Oct 10, 2020
Oct 10, 2020

Hi Mary,
Welcome here in world pulse! Thank you for sharing your advocacy and what are you doing right now. Thank you for giving us inspiration base in your experience in life before reaching of what achievement you received.

Keep safe and take care

Marykb
Oct 10, 2020
Oct 10, 2020

Thank you sister am so humbled takea too dear

Sheroo
Oct 10, 2020
Oct 10, 2020

MARYKB,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! Your passion for bringing positive change to the world is a clear reflection of the nature of women. I believe together we will create the world we want, one step at a time.

In solidarity!

Mariama Kallon
Oct 11, 2020
Oct 11, 2020

Wow, what a great write up.
A true leader do all the best to please their people as you are doing.
Thanks so much for sharing this powerful story.
Women in leadership I feel inspired.
Much love, more hugs Mary.
Mariama kallon

Chidimma
Oct 13, 2020
Oct 13, 2020

Hi Dear Mary.
Thanks for sharing your true story. Amazing write up. Welcome to Worldpulse.
The world need people like you. Keep writing, as I keep reading from you and learning more.
Love.
Chidimma.

Sabiha Hasan
Oct 13, 2020
Oct 13, 2020

It's an inspiration, what a story!

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Nov 13, 2020
Nov 13, 2020

Greetings MaryKB,
Congratulations on your educational pursuits. This is definitely a plus to empower your work as a advocate. We believe that our youth is our future leaders TODAY and forward. I admire your will and determination in all of what you are succeeding with in this inspiring story.
The country of Malawi needs strong women like and so does the world at large. Congratulations and surely we are looking to hear more from you.
More blessings your way,
Mama Queen