AGE Africa Scholars from the Mulanje District
In July 2022, AGE Africa convened over 400 CHATS girls’ club members at our annual All Scholar’s Retreat. This year’s theme, “Girls: Our Next-Generation Climate Change Leaders,” explored the impact of climate change on local communities and the actions girls can take to improve conditions.
AGE Africa Scholars took center stage, sharing stories, reading poems, teaching about climate change, and participating in informational skits.
CHATS members from Thuchila Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) spoke about their experiences of being displaced from school for three months in early 2022 because of heavy flooding from Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe. To prevent future losses, the CHATS members mobilized their community to donate saplings, and they planted the trees around their school to reduce flooding risks. The scholars attribute CHATS to giving them the leadership and goal-setting skills to take action and help their school in a time of need.
Participation in CHATS clubs continues to expand in all 23 AGE Africa partner schools and currently includes over 2,300 active members! Some clubs, like the one at St. Mary’s Secondary School, have over 150 girls participating in each session alone.
The benefits of CHATS girls’ clubs are leading more and more girls to participate. Over 90% of CHATS members complete secondary school, compared to just 7% of girls nationwide. The Headmaster of Nansenga CDSS states, “We are grateful to AGE Africa for the support the organization gives our girls. It really helps them avoid pregnancies which reduce school dropouts.”
Using a peer-led approach, CHATS trains adolescent girls in Malawi to become successful students, employees, leaders, and agents of positive change in their own lives.
Stelliah Phameya, a CHATS member at Chambe CDSS, explains that the girls’ club has helped her become more assertive and able to withstand peer pressure. “Because of CHATS, I set goals that have helped me avoid early marriage and say no to distractions.” After completing secondary school, she aims to become a nurse. “I am grateful to AGE Africa and everything it has done for the girls at Chambe and other schools.”
On behalf of scholars like Stelliah, thank you for supporting AGE Africa and our life-changing CHATS program!
CHATS Members at Thuchila CDSS planting trees
A CHATS session at St. Mary's Secondary School
Stelliah Phameya, a CHATS member at Chambe CDSS