Emmanuel Lubasi, a Senanga based youth is concerned that only youths intending to go for skills training are considered for sponsorship using Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as opposed to those intending to study academic courses such as medicine among others.
Lubasi further asks whether it only meant that youths should be compelled to do courses that are not of their own interest and choice in order to benefit from CDF.
He expressed the concern during the Provincial Consultations on the National Youth Development Strategy meeting that was held at Senanga School of Nursing in Senanga District.
Another Senanga youth, Likezo Phiri says government should consider providing funds to youth that have business plans which can contribute to communities than only considering those having clubs and should also construct recreation centers for skills development in districts.
Meanwhile, Pastor Mike Simono wanted to know whether clubs that applied for empowerment and benefited in the previous regime but their projects had challenges and are still having club certificates can also still apply for a different project fund empowerment.
In response to CDF sponsorship, Acting Chief Youth Development Officer, Pity Halwindi highlights that currently it was only specifically for skills training but may engage superiors to consider sponsoring youths in academic professions as well.
And in response to clubs with certificates that benefited from youth empowerment but had challenges whether they can again be considered Provincial Youth Development Technical Team member Simon Kamanga says it was tricky for them to benefit unless maybe if their reasons were genuine.
Government is reviewing the 2015 National Youth Policy so as to come up with a new one and currently carrying out provincial youth consultations in order to come up with a new youth policy and a National Youth Development Strategy.
Meanwhile, Milenge Town Council Chairperson Clement Mwila says empowering youths with life -skills will is a necessity as it ensure the uplifting of livelihoods and national development.
Mr Mwila says by providing support such as the skills development bursaries under the Constituent Development Fund ( CDF ),a number of vulnerable youths will improve their living standards by engaging in various entrepreneurship activities.
He says the CDF bursary scheme is in line with government policy of making education accessible to everyone including those who are financially incapacitated.
The Milenge Town Council Chairperson disclosed that over 400 youths in Milenge district in Luapula Province have benefited from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) bursary scheme.
Mr Mwila said 278 secondary school applicants were successful while 191 recipients are under the skills training component adding that over K 1,400,000 has been allocated to school bursaries in the first quarter of the 2022 CDF.
Milenge Town Council has made a payment of K834,000 to various secondary schools were the recipients are enrolled.
The local authority is also in the process of making a payment of K585,780 to skills training centers were the beneficiaries are. However, they have already commenced their studies.
Meanwhile, some beneficiaries of the secondary school CDF bursary scheme have applauded government for coming to their aid.
Clifford Chanda, a Grade 11 pupil at Milenge Secondary School said his parents are peasant farmers who could not meet all his educational costs previously.
And Royda Kunda, a Grade 11 pupil at the same school thanked government for creating an opportunity for girl children like her to access free education.
Ms Kunda said her parents do not have a sustainable source of income hence they used to face challenges with paying her school fees.
“I was a day scholar before I got the bursary, but now that government is paying for everything, I have moved into boarding school. This has enabled me concentrate on my studies more as there are less distractions in school,” she said.