Tingathe: Building wealth that sticks
/ Sarah Lindeire, Co-Founder & Executive Director
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Malawi has one of the world’s youngest populations with an estimated 51% of the population under the age of 18. This youth demographic grapples with two pressing challenges: inadequate access to education and a challenging job market. Many young individuals in the country, especially women, tend to discontinue their education prematurely, resulting in alarmingly low enrolment rates of 2.2% for vocational education and 1.0% for tertiary education. A significant portion of the youth who are not pursuing education either have little to no formal schooling (9%) or have completed only primary education (67%), rendering them ineligible for further educational opportunities. Meanwhile, the current job market in Malawi can absorb only a limited fraction of the youth, leaving many unemployed.
Approximately one-quarter of Lilongwe's 1.8 million residents reside in peri-urban areas, which are expanding due to rural-to-urban migration. These regions are experiencing issues such as overpopulation, the presence of numerous illegal settlements, high poverty rates, and limited opportunities for social mobility. Additionally, these challenges are compounded by various psychological barriers, including low self-esteem and a tendency among young people to be pushed towards risky activities and lifestyle choices that may not be in their best interest.
Tingathe focuses its efforts on impoverished households by adopting a highly community-oriented approach that addresses the critical needs for education access, skill development, market access, startup capital, and business management knowledge. These elements are pivotal for enabling individuals to either secure employment or establish their own businesses. Tingathe operates multiple programs aimed at training and empowering young people and women while garnering support from local chiefs and communities.
Their flagship program, TTP, comprises a 7-12 month training curriculum divided into two tracks: entrepreneurship and employment. Graduates from the entrepreneurship track receive assistance in the form of loans and startup kits to facilitate their business ventures. Meanwhile, graduates from the employment track are connected with job placement opportunities. In the most recent TTP cohort, approximately 60% of participants were female, and 85% were unemployed. On average, candidates in this program live on a monthly income of $29.
In addition, they work in public schools and train women. Through their empowerment focused approach, they go beyond market skills and also address important topics such as building confidence, life skills, and sexual health.
- 29 USDis the monthly average candidates live on prior to joining Tingathe
- 25-200%increase in income
- 62%decrease in unemployment
About the organization
Tingathe is a non-governmental organization that partners with peri-urban communities to build wealth that sticks. Tingathe works with young people, community leaders, women in small businesses, and school-going young children to empower them with various skills that will enable them to thrive in their communities. Tingathe was set up in 2016 by Sarah & Aubrey Lindeire and is based in Lilongwe, Malawi.