Phalombe Youth Arms Organisation, founded in 2012, is a Malawian non-partisan, non-religious, non-governmental youth organization based in Phalombe district at Phalombe Boma. PYAO is also a voluntary membership organisation for local youth who want to volunteer in their community.
PYAO is a youth-led organization that was initiated in late 2011 but officially established in January 2012. The process was initiated by youth leaders and young professionals and involved consultations with youths, students, vendors, young professionals, movements and other actors in youth work on issues affecting them and their role in addressing the identified problems. While consultations on youth issues and appropriate actions to address them formed a major part of the PYAO process during the initial period (February 2011 to January 2012), an engagement process with policy and decision makers other stakeholders in youth work was also rolled out. The PYAO emerged following growing concerns among youths over lack of an enabling and supportive environment for meaning youth participation in sustainable development and poor access of sexual reproductive health and rights despite the fact that youths constitute most proportion of the total population in Phalombe district. It was formed to provide support to youths around the district. The support is mainly demand driven and is provided in different areas of youth activities and interest. The organization is in process of registering under the trustee’s incorporation Act (1962). It is also registered with the National Youth Council of Malawi.
PYAO realizes that long term change among the youth cannot be realized without the involvement of strategic partners and major players and that is why it works with Government, state and non-state actors, traditional leaders as well as existing local governance structures and other participating structures as implementing partners at grassroots level.
In order to realize the above change PYAO has focused on strategic interventions in thematic areas such as Human Rights and Governance; Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV/AIDS; Livelihood Security; Education; Water Sanitation and Hygiene; Climate Change and Environmental Management.
At PYAO, we recognize that the problems facing Phalombe youth today are complex. That’s why our organisation takes a multi-objective approach to supporting youth and community development to achieve our Mission: PYAO invests in innovative ideas, convenes interested parties, shares its learning and advocates for change in support of young people being health, creative and fully engaged citizens
1. To promote the presence and the role of the young people as positive actors in socio-economic development and democratization.
2. Reduce transmission and mitigate impact of HIV
3. To facilitate increased youth participation in the democratic process, building capacity of young people to take on leadership roles in their communities
4. To support and give visibility to local youth led projects
5. To support, enhance and promote social justice in our communities
6. To conduct civic education on Sexual Reproductive Health and HIV, human rights, gender, Environment, sanitation and hygiene good governance, agriculture and food security
7. Promote youth through life skills, leadership, entrepreneurship and counselling
8. Coordinate volunteering, local philanthropy, and youth exchanges to further community development and intercultural learning
PYAO envisions an inclusive society that values and supports full engagement of vulnerable people in civic, social, economic and environmentally healthy communities