This project supports peer-led life-skills education programs for 1,500 adolescent girls studying in secondary schools in rural Malawi. The program helps girls overcome challenges that can lead to school dropout. Our scholars work to improve their academic performance through study skills and goal setting and develop their leadership skills, so they can advocate for themselves.
Girls who attend Community Day Secondary Schools in Malawi face extreme risks of dropping out. In Malawi, 6 out of 7 girls are not enrolled in secondary school and 42% of girls are married before the age of 18. Without education, Malawian girls are vulnerable to the effects of extreme poverty, child marriage, domestic abuse, forced sex, teen pregnancy, and physically demanding agricultural labor. Life-skills education is vital to helping ensure that girls reach the academic finish line.
Creating Healthy Approaches to Success (CHATS) is a peer-led afterschool girls' club that trains adolescent girls in Malawi to become successful students, employees, leaders, and agents of positive change in their own lives. Developed by Malawian women and vetted by the Malawian Ministry of Education to address the immediate causes of female school dropout in the local context, over 90% of CHATS Girls' Club members complete secondary school, compared to an average of 7% of girls nationwide.
The project will provide after-school life-skills education to 1,500 adolescent girls in rural Malawi, allowing them to become advocates of their own life choices, secondary school graduates, and respected community leaders. The majority of our scholars become first-generation university students and mentors to other girls in their communities. The skills they develop during CHATS set them up for long-term success and lead them to empower future generations of girls.
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