AGE Africa's CHATS girls' club has been growing and now has 2,100 girls participating in it. Creating Healthy Approaches to Success (CHATS) is a three year after school program that supports life, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills. Throughout the program, the participants cover critical topics, such as sexual and reproductive health, and gender and female rights. CHATS also covers self-advocacy skills and group facilitation, providing the girls with resources that they do not learn during the school day. The entrepreneurship focus of CHATS teaches girls fundamental skills to start and maintain a small business, as well as allows them to engage in the community with their own entreprenueral ventures.
Magret is an AGE Africa scholar and a CHATS participant. She explains that CHATS has helped her come to terms with her struggles, as they have given her the dream of becoming a member of parliament. "My attendance at CHATS, benefits me a lot through peer mentoring, leadership skills and also life skills. This club has helped me also to be a girl of combating gender barriers through having self-belief and assertiveness. In addition, CHATS has also helped me to be dedicated girl, hardworking and instilled me with leadership skills."
Dorah is a CHATS member who expressed that the CHATS club has been a pillar of her schooling and has helped her to get this far with school. "Through CHATS I have learnt how to study, at first I didn’t know I can make time table and create time for study at home but now I study. So to me time planning and time table CHATS have been one of the greatest lessons acquired in CHATS."
Shelter is an AGE Africa Scholar who was selected to Malawi University of Science and Technology, and she credits CHATS with having a role in how far she has come. "During CHATS we discussed many topics that had an impact on my life, there were so many things I didn’t know and wasn’t sure about that I learnt during CHATS. CHATS helped me a lot to reach this stage. I learnt to be confident in whatever I am doing, to know who I am and the importance of education. It made me work hard in class and here I am in college. Other than that I also learnt to stay away and say no to sexual relationships such that I turned down marriage/relationship proposals because I am one girl who knows what I want and what I need to do in order to achieve my goals. I am a role model in my community and the first person in my extended family to go to University."
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