Project Launch: 8-3-18
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with many families living on less than one dollar a day. Due to poverty, girls in rural areas are culturally considered as the wealth of their family which results in many of them being forced to drop out of school to get married so that their husbands can financially support their families. 6 out of 10 girls in rural areas drop out of school due to pregnancies from sexual cleansing practices and forced prostitution among other abuses. Because of poverty, many girls and young women who face this abuse do not report anything for fear of losing financial support from abusers. Many suffer in silence.
This project aims to empower girls from rural communities with financial and innovation development skills which they can use to overcome these challenges and become effective change agents in their communities.
Project Update: 3-11-19
Six months after commencement, the We Rise project has provided fashion design and tailoring training to 50 young girls from Phalombe District who have been sewing school uniforms that will be donated to needy students from two schools in the community as a social responsibility coupled with the aim of showcasing the skills acquired from the project. The gesture will also help in lobbying the school administrations and community members to buy school uniforms and other products from the participants after the project. The second phase of the project has begun with a finance and small business training which will enable the participants to manage the businesses that will be managed in groups of 10 where they will be given tailoring machines for operations. One of the participants, Violet Sitolo expressed her satisfaction with the project by saying “I am happy now because I am learning tailoring and will also have the opportunity to start my own business, support my children, siblings and my grandmother who is very old and relies on me for her wellbeing.”
Final Report: 10-2-19
With a $3,561.64 investment from World Connect, Girls Arise for Change successfully trained 50 young girls between the ages of 15-24 and empowered them with financial earning skills through fashion design and tailoring. With the skills gained, the girls and young women have been grouped into five groups of 10 members each, with each group receiving one machine to establish their own businesses in their respective areas. An additional five sewing machines are used at the hub to train new girls, but are also being used by graduates who live close to the hub when they have big orders from their customers. The project has also seen 25 new-women led businesses or enterprises sprouting and in the process not only economically empower the women but also build their confidence to live independent lives and fight gender based violence. The only major challenge has been limited number of machines which makes it difficult for all the ten members to use timely and gain meaningful income.