Since January AGE Africa has gained 15 new students and one new school partner! Please see pics of our new students! There are now a total 77 young women in Malawi pursuing a secondary education through scholarships provided by AGE Africa, and two matriculating to university. Our goal is to support 120 girls in our scholarship program by year end. We are well on our way to achieving this, but we know that a scholarship is not enough to ensure each of our girls will finish school. That is why AGE has designed an extra-curricular program that targets the multiple causes of dropout. Beginning in January 2012 every scholar at every school site will have access to AGE Africa’s full curriculum comprised of career guidance classes, a guest speaker series, and peer led life skills education. Additionally, AGE will reach 350 other young women from eight rural schools through a partnership with Malawian NGO The Girl Leader Empowerment Program (GILEP). This spring, GILEP's work has touched the lives of 150 girls at four rural schools in Malawi's Southern Region.
In February, AGE Africa was invited to join the UN Foundation’s Coalition for Adolescent Girls – an advocacy group focused on improving the lives of girls around the world by concentrating on such issues as education, health care, protection against violence, HIV/AIDS and child marriage. The impact of our extracurricular program will now extend well beyond our students and Malawi!
In March, we implemented our first survey of our graduates through a partnership with George Washington University. This is the foundation for a system that will allow us to track students’ success over time and help us learn how to better serve those still in our program. In May the results of our Alumnae survey were released and show that 91% of AGE Africa students complete all four years of high school, and that on average AGE Africa scholars wait three years longer than other girls their age to get married and have children. In 2011 100% of our graduating class qualified for higher education--something that less than 1% of girls nationwide.
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