MORE THAN 300 secondary school students will gather in Glasgow on Monday for the annual Scotland Malawi Partnership Youth Congress.

The event, held at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, gives students from all over Scotland a chance to meet and discuss their Malawi links, as well as debate important issues such as global poverty and the UN’s new Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Europe and International Development will be at the event to launch the Scotland Malawi Partnership’s new schools guide, Paths into International Development.

The guide aims to encourage students to get involved with volunteering and school links with Malawi, which can have a positive effect on their further education and career development.

Humza said: “Scotland and Malawi have an important relationship and we can all be very proud of what we have achieved since our two countries signed the Cooperation Agreement a decade ago.

“During my recent visit to Malawi I saw first hand the huge difference this relationship is making to the lives of many Malawians.

“Every year more than 300,000 Scots and two million Malawian benefit from the work we do in partnership, in areas including education, health, agriculture and renewable energy.

“I’m delighted that this conference aims to encourage young Scots and Malawians to continue, and strengthen the links between our two nations, taking our partnership forward into the next generation.”

Organisers of the event said this year’s Youth Congress will be their biggest yet.

Emily Mnyayi, Youth and Schools Officer for the Scotland Malawi Partnership, said: “We’re very excited to see so many inspiring young Scots engaged with Malawi links.

“It’s so important for future generations to have a positive impact on their local community, as well as the wider world, and being involved in a school partnership gives them that opportunity.

“When schools partner with a Malawian school they give students the chance to contribute to the special relationship between the two countries. The skills these students gain from their Malawi links should not be underestimated and our event will help them identify these and use them to their advantage during further studies and their future careers.”

Hugh Hall, Chief Operating Officer of the University of Strathclyde said: “The University of Strathclyde is delighted to host the Youth Congress for the Scotland Malawi Partnership.

“We have a very strong partnership with the University of Malawi, based on common friendship and aspirations. This is helping young Scots and Malawians to gain skills to deliver vital services of water and sanitation, energy, health and education. It will be a great opportunity to meet young people who are committed to this partnership and share our enthusiasm for working together with Malawi.”

Over 200 schools across Scotland have a link with a school in Malawi. These links date back to 1859 and the travels of Scottish missionary and explorer, Dr David Livingstone.