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MALKERNS – The 2023 European Union’s (EU) Schools Festival has set the mood for the MTN Bushfire Festival.

The EU Schools Festival was attended by over 1 000 pupils, who kicked off the festival with a street march that started at Mahlanya and ended at House On Fire in Malkerns. The march was led by Salesian band and Ekukhanyeni High School drum majorettes. The pupils showcased their talent while also marching, they showcased their dance skills. When they arrived at House On Fire, the first speaker, who addressed the pupils was the Ministry of Education representative Constance Vilakati. She shared that the event would not have been successful without the generosity of EU and encouraged young people to take advantage of the opportunity given to them by EU.

“The festival would not have been possible without the support and generosity of the EU. This displays their wavering commitment to support young people and the Government of Eswatini. His Majesty’s Government is thus eternally grateful the unwavering support. I would like to urge young people to take advantage of this opportunity as it may just literary bring their dreams even much faster than they can imagine. Young people should note that success is when preparation meets opportunity, hence any young person who takes full advantage of all the opportunities thay are given, not only inspire and make us all proud, but make this world a better place to live in,” Vilakati said.


EU ambassador to Eswatini Dessislava Choumelova, on the other hand, empowered the young people and said they had the power to change the future and make a difference. “Young people are the most powerful in this country, they define tomorrow’s future. Today I would like to urge each and every one of you to rise up and join the fight of ensuring that your dreams come true. It is with great delight that we gathered for this festival during Africa Day, which is a day to celebrate yourself while enjoying the festival. Our mandate as the EU is to empower and open all doors for young people to access opportunities that will help better their lives and become better people of tomorrow,” the ambassador said.

She went on to share that this year EU will be focusing on the nurturing of young people. “This year the EU will be focusing on young people, especially by facilitating projects that are only designated for them. We will be building skate board parks in every region of the country just so young people can challenge themselves and try out new opportunities that they can pursue. More art activities are also in the pipeline, where young people will share discussions on what initiatives they can try to embark on to better their lives,” the ambassador said.

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