Transformation – Mzuzu Youth Association, Malawi
Change is possible. The last month ofmy time at the Mzuzu Youth Association can be summarized as a time of transformation, a new start. On June 25th, 2011, the Association gathered all of its Affiliates and community stakeholders for its 10th Annual General Meeting and 5th General Elections. During the AGM, the Executive Committee is mandated to deliver its Progress and Financial Reports for the 2010-11 year. This was also when I reported the Organizational Assessment, which I had a chance to evaluate on the performance of the Association using from the data collected from the field assessments, self-appraisal, participatory evaluation, and an internal financial audit. All three reports were photocopied so that each affiliated youth groupshad a copy and were able to make comments.
After the reports and questions, the General Elections for the new Executive Committee for 2011-2013 began. All the contested candidates had to be elected by his or her youth organization and meet all the criteria set forth by the Electoral Commission. The final screening is an interview. Each Affiliate was given two votes for each position. The elections were democratic and fair and it was presided over by District Youth Officer, who also chaired the Electoral Commission of the Association.It was a successful AGM.
Following the AGM, there was about two weeks of transition the between the outgoing and the incoming Executive Committees. My role at the Association also changed. I suddenly was a key resource person for handover notes and information. The new incoming Executive Committee entry into Office was critical for change management. I started this process by giving the Strategic Leadership Training was made possible through the WUSC-UNITERRA Sector Fund. The three week training was divided into three sections and all three parts were interlinked and builds on each other. Firstly, from July 11th to 12th, the workshop focused on transformative leadership and teambuilding skills. After from July 14th to 22th, the curriculum covered achieving objectives, strategic planning, and action plans. Lastly, from July 18th to 19th the resource mobilization and financial management training was successfully delivered. Four major deliverables were accomplished during the training to help strengthen the long term organizational capacity of the Association;a new Principle Guidelines, the defacto Constitution, introducing a Code of Ethics and Conducts,the Principles of Financial Management, and learning and doing Strategic Planning. I am confident about the new Executive Committee. The reputation of the Association is now more positive as there is greater community awareness and interest.
Lastly, on resource mobilization, the Association started two new resource mobilization projects, the Youth Computers Vocational Training Centre and a Fruit Orchard. Both of these will take some time to bear fruit. Also, one of Mzuzu Youth Association’s affiliate is benefiting further from WUSC-Uniterra income-generating activity initial funding for poultry farming.To make this sustainable, I linked the Association with other service groups in the community, such as the Lions and Rotary and requested for two more interns for 2012.