By Samuel Malasa Banda
Juma, then 21, came to Cornerstone with one aim; to pass time as he was waiting for his national examination results.
“I had finished secondary school and I had nothing to do at home. So I thought the few hours I could spend at the ministry could benefit my life” says Juma.
Few years down the line, Cornerstone has been a pillar spiritually and physically, not only to him but to more than 10 youths who are in the Youth Empowerment Program.
And 2017 has been a great breakthrough for the youth empowerment program.
Three young people have been accorded a chance to attend university.
In a country where less than 5% of high school graduates attend college, Juma, Annie, and Emmanuel feel so privileged that Cornerstone has helped pave the path to their future.
18-year-old Annie Milanzi started her journey with Cornerstone in 2015 while she was still in secondary school. Due to lack of tuition fees, Cornerstone sponsored her education. Upon completion of high school with brilliant grades, Annie was accepted to study at African Bible College, but just like Emmanuel, Juma and millions of Malawian youths whose dreams are shuttered due to their financial inability, she couldn’t afford tuition.
The three were supposed to start their studies at ABC on 18th August, and by God’s grace, Cornerstone through some well-wishers has managed to help them with part of their tuition.
Juma, Annie, Ghadson, and Emmanuel with Julie, one of Cornerstone’s partners.
Juma, Emmanuel, and Annie follow Ghadson Standy who joined ABC last year, also courtesy of Cornerstone and he is now in his sophomore (second) year.
For Emmanuel Phiri, the chance that has been given to him to go to college never crossed his mind.
“Once I was told that I had been accepted to attend ABC, it was the same moment that my spirit was crushed. I knew that my parents could not afford the fees. Furthermore, I was among the newest members of the Cornerstone Youth program, and I had no hope that the ministry would support my education” says 22-year-old Emanuel, a talented singer, and painter.
And Danneck Falinya, Cornerstone’s Executive Director, is excited with the success of the young people.
“In 2012, we had a dream to start a program that would help young people become productive citizens of the nation. And the fact that we now have four students from this program in college, then our God given mission is on track. And many thanks to our various well-wishers for supporting these students.” Appreciate Falinya.
Danneck says Cornerstone’s joy is fulfilled in seeing the youths’ going to college and graduating, some of them establishing businesses and living their dreams.