For most us patriotic Malawians who grew up to a good number of years under the leadership of His Excellence the first President of Malawi Dr. Hastings Banda we miss “youth week.”
Youth week was a deliberate initiative by the then government for the youths, primary school pupils, secondary students, and college students to do development work in their communities.
This strategic initiative was very important for the country. During this youth week all schools were closed and students were all over the country doing maintenances and cleaning their schools, hospitals, health centres, markets, towns, district councils, and cities. Teachers made the best supervisors this week.
In the rural areas of the country, most roads and village routes were also being maintained during this period. Bushes were cleared in various government institutions and along the roads.
By the end of the youth week we could sit back and appreciate how beautiful our country looked. Each and every corner of this beautiful land was touched and attended to.
Youth week was an important national function. However, in the late 90’s this initiative was rubbished and trashed by the then President of Malawi his Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi.
Muluzi generally claimed that the youth week was not development oriented. He claimed that it was “violating the rights of the youth.”
A survey conducted by Akometsi indicates that most Malawians who witnessed the youth week have alot of positive stories.
Amos Ngozo, in his 40’s, a businessman in Nchesi-Lilongwe lamented that “I remember during those days when we used to have youth week, the whole city would be cleaned at once. Even the premises of Kamuzu Central hospital were clean as well”
He added that “there were no bushes in this city as it is now.” Alot more others have recommended the re-introduction of youth week.