Building a Resilient Nation - Sustainable Development Goals Competition Winning Concept

Dec 11, 2017


Luke Makuluni Mwale and Steven Malipenga, Mzuzu University graduates, have emerged winners of the concept writing competition which United Nations Volunteers and other organisations working with volunteers in Malawi initiated. The participants of the competition had to offer innovative ideas to achieve SDG 13 on Climate Action. The competition was split into two, for youth between 15-22 and between 25-30, who were required to come up with a short story and a concept respectively.


The Volunteer for Development Taskforce in celebrating this year’s International Volunteers Day under the theme ‘Volunteers as first responders in times of crisis’ opened up the competition to harness and implement creative ideas that would mitigate natural disasters. The Chairperson of the Taskforce, Ms. Maryrose Ikumi, who is also the Programme Officer of the UN Volunteers programme in Malawi commented that volunteers should work towards minimizing the prevalence of disasters. She said, “as volunteers we are the first to respond when disasters strike, but we also work towards ensuring that disasters have less likelihood of occurrence”. Ms. Ikumi added, “We wanted to give the youth an opportunity to take the responsibility of building Malawi into a resilient nation”.


 The winning concept which is a combined effort of Luke and Steven outlines a plan to establish a volunteer organisations to be called Ntchisi Conservation Trust (NCT) which will work towards sustainably managing and conserving forestry resources. NCT will pursue SDG 13, to promote actions at all levels to address climate change and demonstrate on the ground what young volunteers can do in building a resilient nation. The concept further underlines restoring forests in eight selected government schools and four churches in T.A. Kalumo and Vuso Jere in the 2017/18 tree planting season, promoting climate change adaptive technologies through the promotion of drought resistant crop varieties and conservation agriculture and organic farming and setting up a volunteer demonstration forest in Chinthembwe, T.A. Vuso Jere.


Speaking on the sidelines of International Volunteers Day which took place on 5th of December in Lilongwe, Steven said “in most cases people plant trees and fail to take care of them, the trees are left to die and in the end, there is no progress made so we decided to establish an organization that will track the progress of the trees being planted”. The concept recognizes that to make Malawi resilient against adverse effects of climate change like floods, droughts and global
warming there should be restoration of trees in degraded areas.


UNDP acting Resident Representative, Claire Medina, presented the award. Volunteers for Development will facilitate the implementation the pilot phase of the winning concept.   

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