Project MyGirl and MyBoy
Many girls in Malawi drop out of school when they reach puberty, due to cultural pressures of early marriage, pregnancy and often poor sanitary materials.
Hope4Malawi is partnering with Fisherman’s Rest to bring awareness of health and hygiene issues to girls in rural schools south of Blantyre, Malawi. In 2015 a team from Hope4Malawi spent 2 weeks with 150 girls from Mpemba and Chipwepwete schools. They had previously missed a week of school each month because they did not have adequate sanitary material. At the end of the training in adolescent development, sex education and hygiene each girl was given a pack with 5 washable sanitary towels, pants and soap.
Watch our video here about the training programme at Mpemba and Chipwepwete Schools in 2015. Project My Girl 2015
There are immense pressures for young girls in Malawi yet many of have dreams and ambitions. Some drop out of school because they are pregnant or married off young, yet others are determined to go to secondary school and make a difference in their lives and get good jobs. During the training the girls will be encouraged to stay in school even if they want to marry and have children, so they have the ability to help support their families financially and know they will be able to cope if their husbands should leave them or pass away.
Feedback from the girls and the school headteachers is positive. School attendance by the girls had risen significantly in 2016 and drop out rates were reduced. There were however still some teenage pregnancies in both schools, some of girls as young as 13.
In 2017 a team visited Malawi to work with the local Malawians who facilitate the projects. Follow up courses were done at Chipwepwete and Mpemba and the programme was run at two more schools: training 180 girls at Mpemba Secondary school and Namaera Primary school as well as providing the boys at these schools with a parallel programme.
More girls have been through the programme and provided with a sanitary pack in 2018. In 2019 we will provide the programme at our new partner school Namende. It costs £10 per girl and £4 per boy to provide the training and resources. If you would like to help the girls at these schools to stay in schools please donate here to provide training and packs for the teenage girls.