Eswatini Daily News
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Public participation in this year’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care

This year’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care, MTN’s flagship corporate social responsibility initiative, will be driven by the public at the regional level for the secondary projects. Projects in this annual CSI initiative are divided into two: the primary or main project, which is generally the most prominent and secondary projects which are the supporting projects.

The introduction of public participation will make the corporate social responsibility initiative agile in addressing the felt-needs on the ground, from the viewpoint of communities. MTN Foundation would not like to initiate projects and hand them over to communities without inculcating a sense of ownership. That is why the public will have an opportunity to vote for a sustainable project that will bring about the most difference in their region particularly in the area of youth empowerment.

The shift in the focus of the 21 Days of Y’ello Care’s theme from education, which has been the case over the past couple of years, to youth empowerment, is an acknowledgement that in the markets where MTN operates, there is a general problem that specifically affects young people, and needs to be unambiguously and systematically confronted.

Last year for its main project, MTN Foundation in collaboration with 16 entities constructed Mpaka Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) Centre to the tune of E18 million. The partners included three Government departments: The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Education and Training; The Times of Swaziland; Swaziland Empowerment Limited (SEL), Macmillan, to mention but a few partners.

Mpaka Technical Vocational Educational Training

For secondary projects, MTN and partners facilitated the construction of two Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs) at Nsoko and Siteki. NCPs are literacy training, socialization and feeding centres for children which started at the time the country battled with the challenge of high AIDS-related death which left some children with no one to take care of them. However, today NCPs are now part of children’s education and socialization structures before they start on the first grade, particularly for children in rural communities whose parents may not afford contemporary preschool education.

MTN Foundation is still inviting partners – which could be companies or individuals with special vocational skills that could be used to improve quality of life for others in the context of the 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign – to register their interest to participate. Already, a number of non-profit making entities and corporates have indicated interest in participating.

Through this year’s campaign, MTN Foundation seeks to challenge young people to be creative in the use of their hands to recycle material in the production of goods that could be sold to enable them to create their first income stream or an additional one. This comes from an acknowledgement that youth unemployment is a challenge that this country and others where MTN operates, faces.

As such, MTN Eswatini through its Foundation seeks to contribute towards reducing the challenge of youth unemployment and simultaneously stimulate economic activities at the grassroots level in line with the country’s aspiration to get to First World Status by 2022. The active participation and empowerment of young people is critical in creating a solid and sustainable economy.

PREVIOUS INITIATIVES BY MTN FOUNDATION

  • Refurbishment of UNESWA Computer Simulation Lab with equipment worth over E1.5 million in 2015
  • In 2016 MTN launched  E200, 000 worth of bursaries to support 50 young people in vocational skills training in partnership with Young Heroes, Ministry of Education and Training and Skills Training Centres
  • Establishment of a plumbing unit at Nhlangano Skills Training Centre worth E72, 000
  • In 2016, MTN Foundation invested E1.7 million towards the 21 Days of Y’ello which covered orientation of pupils in 16 primary and secondary schools focusing on Coding, Programming and Robotics plus painting of Maphalaleni and Shewula High schools, electrical wiring of Shewula, fencing, construction of guard house at Ekwetsembeni special school.
  • In 2017, MTN Foundation facilitated the construction of Endlaleni Primary school in Mankayane where the total invested in the 21 Days of Y’ello Care was valued at E3.5 million
  • Construction of E18 million Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) Centre in 2018 plus two NCPs.

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