Girls Empowerment and Protection Project

Fellows: Abraham Manguwo and Carol Kachilika

Grant Year: 2019

Location: TA Changata, Malawi

Organization: Foundation for Rural Development (FORUD) and Reflecting Foundation

Project title: Girls Empowerment and Protection Project

Project summary: In TA Nchilamwera and Changata in Thyolo district, girls are getting married at a very young age. Girls Not Brides reports that four out of ten girls are married before the age of sixteen. From interviews with initiative camp counselors in TA Changata, FROUD and Reflecting Foundation learned that girls – some as young as 10 years old – are exposed to an informal curriculum that prioritizes lessons that encourage girls to practice sex and find a husband during these camps. Without a rights-based, accurate, and age-appropriate curriculum in TA Changata, girls leave the camps assuming their only option in life is to get married.

 In response, FORUD and Reflecting Foundation are working alongside the ENGAGE Girl Leaders in TA Changata and Rise Up Leaders from Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy (YCD) and Mapanga Community Development Organization (MACDEVO) to directly work with initiation camp counselors to increase the age that girls go to initiation camps from nine to 16 years old and create the first standardized and age-appropriate initiation camp curriculum for girls age 16 and above in TA Changata by November 2019.