Students with Dreams project Pamthuzi is boosting youth literacy

“It is easy to think that the dream stops at Students With Dreams and that all your SWD project will be for is to look good on your CV and that's it, but keep dreaming and focus,” says Tawonga Msowoya.

Tawonga was a Dreamer in the 2017-2018 cohort, and founded Pamthuzi as her project. Pamthuzi seeks to address low literacy skills among youth and create an interactive learning experience. Using human-centred design, youth have a platform to critically examine and form opinions about social issues that affect them. They aim to utilise creativity and artistic tools to aid the process.

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Pamthuzi currently works with youth from various educational backgrounds and ages. Every Sunday, a forum is held in the village Chikanda. Pamthuzi’s vision is to establish a presence in secondary schools and conduct sessions there as a way of reaching more learners.

Discussing the inspiration for Pamthuzi, Tawonga said, “Three key observations. One: Malawi's youth are the invisible majority of the population that remains largely...voiceless and void of the empowerment they need for meaningful participation. Two: the underdevelopment of literacy skills, such as essay writing and general eloquence, that is observable among first year university students, which is the reason why we opted to work with secondary school students to develop the skills prior to university enrollment. And three: a need to create a youth that is not only aware of the issues that affect us and our development as a nation but is also able to form multifaceted opinions and solutions.”

With the success of the first year, the Pamthuzi project is gearing up to continue the momentum to help even more youth and hold more sessions in the year to come.