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Meet Clement – BILD Malawi Project Manager

A Q&A session with BPF Malawi's latest member of the team

Meet BPF Malawi’s newest staff member, Clement Nthakomwa, Project Manager for Youth Sport Trust International’s BILD program

BPF: Where are you from in Malawi and what was life like for you growing up?

CN: “I’m from the northern part of Malawi, Karonga District. I had a relatively good upbringing; my parents worked hard and the communities I have stayed in supported my progress to where I am today.”

BPF: From your experiences, personally and through your work, what parallels do you draw with the challenges faced by young people here in Lilongwe?

CN: “Well, growing up in Malawi has its own challenges and pressures. There’s a lot of needs and wants for the youths apart from the basic things that may be there – and most communities lack such important amenities. This poses a challenge on one’s path to a desired goal or life. Youths staying in rural areas are more at a disadvantage and easily give up on life because they lack so many things. The situation is no different for those here in rural Lilongwe and Mtema, hence the need to provide some level of knowledge and skill to better their lives and perhaps align their personal goals to something tangible.”

BPF: What were your first thoughts when you saw the advertisement for this role (BILD Malawi project manager)?

CN: “I was excited to see an organisation that is implementing sport for development projects, especially because I had implemented a component of sports in one of the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR) projects I previously managed. I had seen its fruits and saw this [advertisement] as an opportunity to literally dedicate my time to full time sport for development projects. It is fun and worthwhile to use sports as a vehicle for personal and community development, not just as a mobilisation gimmick.”

BPF: Broadly speaking, what do you hope to achieve in your role with BPF and the BILD Malawi project over the next 4 years?

CN: “I envisage youths who shall be proactive in pursuing their different life goals and better their lives by engaging in volunteering work, vocational skills and other work that improves their chances in the community. Also, I envision great networking and sharing of ideas to make sport for development work, especially revamping PE education as a stand alone subject from ECD to Tertiary level of education. Not only this, but also the integration of sports in out-of-school youth/sports clubs to ensure all youths are met.”

BPF: Why is sport important in developing youth and communities?

CN: “I believe sport keeps one’s mind active, in good physical and mental health, making individuals push towards a desired goal. Just like in any sporting competition, each participating team and individual looks forward to winning, and so should be the spirit towards personal and community development.”

BPF: Do you see future community, business and political leaders emerging out of our programs?

CN: “Without a doubt! It’s amazing how people use different opportunities given to them and I believe future leaders and politicians of good standing morals will be moulded through the BILD and BPF Malawi work. It’s a matter of time.”

BPF: What’s your favourite sport and hobbies?

CN: “My favourite sport is football and my hobbies include reading novels, travelling and watching movies. I play social football here and there too.”

The Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD) program has been designed and funded by Youth Sport Trust International and will be delivered in Malawi in partnership with BPF Malawi. BILD Malawi aims to enhance the life chances of young people by developing their leadership skills through sport.

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