Hello everyone! My name is Zainab Sidiq and I am currently completing my final year at UTSC, studying Population Health, International Development and Public Policy.
This past summer, I had to privilege of traveling to Lilongwe, Malawi to complete a 3-month mandate with WUSC Malawi and the Network for Youth Development (NfYD). NfYD is a local Malawian NGO that seeks to empower youth to play an active role in development process that affect their lives. I interned at NfYD as a Monitoring & Evaluation, Communications officer. In this capacity, I assisted the M&E manager in data collection in the field as well as overviewing and editing project success stories for key stakeholders such as the Development Fund of Norway.
Over the course of my mandate, I had the opportunity to travel with my team to 3 different communities, collecting data on the My Life My Choice (MLMC) project. This project encourages and empowers youth in different regions of the country to continue pursuing their education and engage in entrepreneurship opportunities. While in the field, I witnessed the ways in which local communities engaged with the economic market through agricultural practices like horticulture and beekeeping. You can find out more about NfYD’s initiatives here: http://nfydmw.org/index.php/pages
A highlight of my mandate was attending the first Youth Agripreneurship Forum in Malawi, which was organized in collaboration with the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship and Wealth Magazine. This forum connected youth farmers all over Malawi with opportunities to learn from best practices in the agricultural and entrepreneurship sectors. NfYD hopes that this forum will continue annually!
I am humbled and grateful to have been chosen as a QE scholar. This opportunity would not be possible without the support of WUSC, CCDS, NfYD, and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Scholarship all of whom, I am incredibly thankful for. I will cherish the lessons learned, friendships made, and beautiful experiences in Lilongwe.