Former Malawi President Dr. Joyce Banda has been decorated for her outstanding humanitarian heart and anthropology works and for the role she has played in changing lives and fortunes of other people in the society.
Young Achievers for Development, YAD presented an award in recognition of generous support rendered to human and social work to Malawian communities to Dr. Banda at her residence in the capital, Lilongwe.
The former Malawi leader was recognised for the role she played in providing moral, financial and material support for the construction of patients and guardians shelter at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the year 2011 when she was the Vice President of the country.
Accepting the honour, the former Malawi leader said she is delighted at the receiving of the Award after many years of the service she offered to people she did not know.
“I was approached by the young people in Blantyre under the organization called Young Achievers for Development some 10 years ago. I was touched by their concept and idea of constructing a patients and guardian shelter at Queen Elizabeth central hospital. I had even forgotten that I assisted YAD to construct that shelter at Queens. It is my calling and I am humbled by their gesture,” said Banda.
She commended the young achievers for the role they are playing to service the needy and other vulnerable groups.
Dr. Banda took this opportunity to announce the establishment of a cervical cancer screening at treatment centre in Blantyre.
She said preparatory works are currently underway and that she has already sourced the equipment for the establishment of the centre with assistance from the African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) and that the equipment will be shipped into the country soon.
She confirmed that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has endorsed the project and that she is looking forward to its establishment as it is going to save lives of numerous Malawian women who are failing to access cervical cancer treatment because of lack of facilities.
Jefferson Milanzie, YAD Executive Director said his organization is obliged to honour Dr. Banda because of the impact that the shelter has in alleviating challenges that guardians and patients faced before it was constructed.
“She did not know us, but she offered assistance on trust and we are so grateful because the job that we did has gone a long way to service people from all districts in Malawi and abroad because Queen Elizabeth Central hospital, is the biggest referral hospital in the country.
Mailanzie said YAD has remained privileged in getting the opportunity to work with a number of diverse institutions and partners both local and international who not only extend financial support for various projects and interventions; but also adequately build the capacity of the organization from different perspectives.
“The awarding of institutions and individuals that have supported YAD is one way of acknowledging that without their resources, the organization would have closed its doors way back just as other organizations. In Malawi, it is not easy for a youth organization to secure funding or resources due to the track record that some few youth organizations laid in the past for example, mismanagement of resources and funds,” said Milanzie.
Adding, “YAD therefore is striving at restoring the lost trust by ensuring that every donation rendered is used for the intended programs and that partners or donors are allowed to follow the usage of every resource channeled to the organization. It is therefore in this spirit of thankfulness that the organization is honoring different institutions and individuals with Certificates of Thankfulness”.
YAD was conceptualized in September 2008 and started its operations in 2009.The organization got registered under the Laws of Malawi on 12th July, 2010 under Trustees Incorporation Act.
The organization’s mission is to improve the quality of life for vulnerable groups, specifically young people and the elderly in underserved communities of Malawi through provision of comprehensive youth friendly health and educational services; promote human rights and gender equity; and facilitate socio economic empowerment support.
To date, YAD has reached out to 48,000 youths of which 28,000 are girls, 12,000 older persons and 16,000 children.
Among other notable developments, YAD has facilitated construction of a Community Victim Support Unit at Soche, construction of Patients and Guardians shelter at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Girls Shine Skills Academy- a Vocational Centre that offers different skills including Tailoring and Fashion designing to Girls and women as one way of fighting Gender based Violence, Red card to Sachet Liquor in Malawi-the organization fought for the ban of production and packaging liquor in sachets, Disaster response programs to affected families with relief items. 6. Schools and Youths Outreach in 40 educational institutions and Udindo Wanga Campaign- the organization fights for the rights of marginalized groups such as people with albinism, the elderly and orphaned children just to mention a few.