September 24, 2016 Print

The future prospects of liberty can only be secured by instilling a passion for freedom in the youth of today. Atlas Network annually recognizes the best student-focused project for liberty with the $3,000 Smith Student Outreach Award. The 2016 winner is the Center for Free Market Enterprise (CFME), for its impressive efforts in engaging students throughout Malawi in 2016 with its Free Society Initiative. CFME Pilirani Banda accepted the award on Sept. 25 during Atlas Network’s 2016 Liberty Forum in Miami.

“With funding from Atlas Network, CFME launched the Free Society Initiative project,” Yakobe said. “Under this project, CFME has been reaching out to university students in the country with the message of liberty. Recent media news in Malawi has shown high levels of youth unemployment, lack of economic freedom, and lack of leaders for liberty. Therefore CFME took the initiative to reach out to the university students in the country through this project.”

Through lectures, debates, and discussions, CFME has invigorated thousands of student activists. The Free Society Initiative has had more than 7,000 students across six universities in Malawi participate in the program and engage with the ideas of liberty and freedom.

“Through this initiative, we have made students aware of their liberties and instilled values of free and regional trade,” Yakobe said. “Our long-term goals are to reach the other countries in Southern Africa and then the whole African continent.”

Launched in 2013, the Smith Student Outreach Award is an annual award recognizing the best student-focused project for liberty. The first winner was Estudantes pela Liberdade in Brazil. The winning organization receives $3,000 and is selected from among current year grantees. The award is sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation. The 2014 winner was Association Multi (Bosnia and Herzegovina) for its projects that encourage students and young professionals to participate in the process of social change in the country. The 2015 winner was European Students for Liberty (ESFL), for its outstanding impact in outreach to students in Europe.