Inclusive Learning Environments for Marginalized Girls
Project Launch: 2-26-18
This project aims to improve access to education and facilitate successful completion of primary and secondary school education for vulnerable girls in rural Malawi aged 10-20 years old by addressing the barriers that are preventing them from completing their education. Through the training of female agent of change (AoC) teachers who will be equipped with knowledge and skills on how to engage the girls, this approach will assist vulnerable female students develop stronger self-esteem and knowledge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Local teenaged girls, who are commonly preyed upon by older men known as “sugar daddies” who give them money and gifts in exchange for sex, are at a high risk of unplanned pregnancies and STD infections, especially HIV. By intervening through the AoC model, this project supports the creation of a girl-friendly social and academic environment to ensure Malawi’s female students reach their potential.
Project Update: 5-29-18
The project officially started implementation in April 2018. Sensitization of all head teachers in Nyamadzere, Nchere and Nyachilenda education zones was designed to increase teacher buy-in. The aim of engaging these head teachers was to create an understanding of what the project will be doing in various schools int he area and what roles the head teachers will play in the context of coordinating this project as they have crucial influence in creating a conducive environment between the faculty, the girls and the community structures which support the overall school administration. Communities the targeted zones have also been engaged about the ideas of promoting girls' education and preventing child marriage. Girls' guides have been trained in 50 schools and nearly 8700 individuals received messaging about the importance of girls' education and their human rights.
Final Report: 7-25-18
The Inclusive Learning Environments for Marginalized Girls project, implemented within two months, successfully trained 50 Agents of Change who in turn revamped 50 girls clubs in their respective schools. The teachers were equipped with communication skills on how to effectively teach self-esteem and sexual reproductive rights to girls with the aim of building confidence for them to attain their full potential. A total of 50 awareness sessions were conducted where 8669 community members (4355 females and 4314 males) were sensitized on harmful cultural practices, early marriages and gender based violence. The project emphasized on the importance of empowering girls to stay in school and there has been a 30% improvement in school drop-out rate among girls in the targeted schools.