The ODeL program from Poly and the scholarship from SHEAMA has given us the reason to believe in ourselves and look into the future with hope.Joshua Kacheyo
Bright Gunda, Joshua Kacheyo and Nasson Blenard
Bright Gunda (24), Joshua Kacheyo (20) and Nasson Blenard (25) are all from Nathenje in Lilongwe and graduated from community day secondary schools. Having failed to get selected to any public university, they spent their time doing nothing in particular.
“I was fast drifting into becoming a delinquent. Most of my peers were drinking, smoking and committing felonies all due to idleness,” confesses Nasson.
Thanks to the USAID-funded Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity, the three attended the four-month certificate in electrical installation course at Malawi Polytechnic under open, distance and e-learning and benefited from full scholarships from the project.
“It was a dream come true. I had always wanted to study with the Polytechnic,” says Nasson.
The three, alongside other SHEAMA scholars, were drilled in Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering, Health Safety and Standards, Domestic Installation and Industrial Installation, among others subjects.
The three then went through a one-week hands-on at Poly’s Department of Electrical Engineering, and later, an internship under the same supervisor. Two months after their internship, the three young men still stick together, securing jobs in their community and sometimes helping their former supervisor for a fee.
“We have a plan, that is why we still stick together,” says Joshua, the youngest of the three, “We plan to register with the Malawi Regulatory Authority so we can have a company and do big electrical installation jobs.”
The three have the reason to dream big. There are many government construction works in their community and across the country, and they plan to tap into that in addition to other recurring jobs such as domestic electrical installation.
“The ODeL program from Poly and the scholarship from SHEAMA has given us the reason to believe in ourselves and look into the future with hope,” he says adding, “We are already assembling our equipment from the proceeds that we make.”