AGE Africa's experiences shows that Career Guidance and Sexual and Reproductive Health Education are critical for ensuring poor girls can finish their high school educations. In Malawi less than 7% of girls nationwide will finish high school, BUT 91% of AGE Africa's scholars finish all 4 years. The difference? AGE Africa's mentoring program gives young women the courage they need to act, achieve and self-advocate for their life choices, and the skills required to access opportunity.
AGE Africa has come to understand that one of the biggest challenges our scholars face is making well-informed and independent decisions for life after secondary school. Few of AGE Africa's scholars have a woman in their family who has completed the 8th grade, almost none have met a professional woman with a career. In order to break the cycle of poverty, girls in Malawi need the ability to IMAGINE a future that's different, AND the courage to ACT to achieve it.
AGE Africa's Career Guidance Program exposes girls to a variety of professional careers through women mentors who coach our students through their career choices, higher education opportunities, and train them in small business skills. Additionally we cultivate each young woman's leadership capacity and ability to self-advocate for her choices, through our Life Skills Program that engages our girls as co-facilitators for groups of their peers
91% of our scholars finish secondary school. 100% of last year's graduating cohort achieved scores high enough to continue their educations. Our hope is that AGE scholars will go on to live healthy lives, and end the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. A 2012 survey of our alumnae show that: 25% of AGE scholars go on to higher education (compared to .3% nationwide), AGE girls marry three years later than average, and wait until they are well into their 20s to bear children.