Rise Up in partnership with Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) in Malawi and International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is launching the Enabling Girls to Advance Gender Equity (ENGAGE) initiative. ENGAGE aims to reduce the prevalence of child marriage in Southern Malawi by investing in local leaders from civil society organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, youth groups and women’s groups interested in working in Thyolo District to advocate for laws, policies and programs that improve opportunities for adolescent girls, increase their access to quality health and family planning services, and empower young women to advocate for gender equity and the reduction of child marriage in their communities.

As an ENGAGE Leader you will participate in a week-long workshop where you will learn about:

  • Human rights
  • Gender equity
  • Girl-centered advocacy
  • Organizational development
  • Proposal writing

You and your organization will also have the opportunity to competitively apply for seed funding to implement a girl-centered advocacy strategy that aims to improve the lives of girls in Thyolo.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity!

We have extended the deadline for the application to become an ENGAGE Leader to December 31, 2017. Click the links below to access the ENGAGE One-pager and the ENGAGE Organizational Leader Application.

ENGAGE one-pager

ENGAGE Organizational Leader Application


In rural regions of Malawi, child marriage rates average 44%, with girls being married off as early as age 10. ENGAGE’s goal is to reach girls in Southern Malawi using the following strategies:

  • Empower adolescent girls to raise their voices and increase their decision making agency to help end child marriage with the Girls’ Empowerment Network (GENET) of Malawi. These girl leaders will mobilize thousands of other girls to speak out for their rights and end child marriage;
  • Invest in visionary Malawian leaders, providing them with leadership development and funding to create innovative solutions that decrease the incidence of child marriage and increase girls’ access to education;
  • Build broader support for girls’ education and rights among men and boys, traditional and religious authorities, and government officials though an SMS and mass radio campaign led by Youth Tech Health; and
  • Independently evaluate the effectiveness of these diverse strategies to reduce child marriage and ensure that girls stay in school through an external evaluation led by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)


Rise Up received $2.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create ENGAGE (Enabling Girls to Advance Gender Equality), an innovative approach to ending early marriage and enabling Malawian girls to finish school. We are honored that First Lady Michelle Obama selected ENGAGE to be part of the White House Let Girls Learn initiative.

Rise Up was selected by First Lady Michelle Obama as a strategic partner in the White House Let Girls Learn initiative, marking the significance of ENGAGE and its ability to end child marriage and enable girls to finish school. Through this partnership, Rise Up joins the ranks of an esteemed group of organizations working together to educate girls around the world.