Across Malawi, girls are dropping out of school due to teen pregnancy and early marriage. More than 50% of girls will get married before their 18th birthday - often due to economic hardship and societal pressure. This results in loss of education, freedom, independence and safety.
WOMEN TOGETHER LAUNCHED GIRLS GROWING TOGETHER to KEEP GIRLS IN SCHOOL and GIVE THEM THE CHANCE to GROW THEIR MINDS, THEIR BODIES, THEIR SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND THEIR ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE
Primary School students participate in after school classes to learn life skills and reproductive health, and to meet career role models who will inspire their love of education and their hope for the future
During COVID school closures, team sports like netball became essential for girls to stay connected. The teams are a fabulous way to keep the girls engaged, to keep developing their confidence and self worth, and to keep them out of trouble!
High school students and girls who are no longer in school gather in the community to discuss topics including sexual health, relationships and keeping safe. Parent Mentors and local leaders are recruited to support a healthy environment in their homes.
Girls learn a series of income generating skills, including baking and sewing, and are supported to begin small businesses. Mechanics and computer skills are next on the agenda!
Since Girls Growing Together was launched in 2019, not one single member has dropped out of school due to pregnancy or marriage - even though teen marriage rates soared during COVID-related school shutdowns.
We currently have 150 primary and secondary school students enrolled, and we are expanding every year! As we focus on inspiring the younger girls to stay in school, we also look for ways to support older girls as they transition out of high school.
In 2022 we aim to build our first GGT Vocational Skills Center to equip our girls with the skills they need to generate income through their own businesses, and develop the skills needed for the job market and higher education.
Click here to learn more and support this effort!
Meet Lydia Maseko - Creator of Girls Growing Together
Lydia is a high school teacher with a passion for girls empowerment, who refused to watch her students dropping out of school without trying to make a difference.
Women Together supported Lydia as a Global Scholar to develop her ideas into what is now Girls Growing Together.
Lydia continues to lead GGT with creativity and tireless excitement, and one day dreams of building her own school for girls!