MCM's Young Women's Initiative empowers 40 vulnerable girls (12-23) to face disadvantages that are the norm in Malawi & to determine their futures. Life-skills training, mentorship & character development prepare the girls to self-advocate, set goals & be independent. Meetings include guest speakers, counseling, craft making, book discussions, sports & field trips. The YWI programs & staff provide opportunity for orphaned girls to break the cycle of poverty & become leaders in their community.
Girls in Malawi average less than 7 years of school, in part due to high teen pregnancy & childhood marriage rates; 29% of girls (15-19) become pregnant. Uneducated & impoverished, they must spend their time out of school seeking money to survive yet lack skills to secure safe employment. They also lack female role models & emotional skills needed to face incredibly harsh social & economic conditions. Without education & vocational skills these disenfranchise young women cannot thrive.
With MCM's full time Coordinator, Eneless, facilitating the YWI the girls receive consistent structured program which provides information on their health including reproduction and menstruation, future educational and vocational opportunities. They receive counseling, gain skills in business development and bond to be a supportive resources for each other. By building their self-esteem and self-sufficiency girls who participate in the YWI feel valued and set goals for their futures.
Girls who participate in the YWI will have completed more school than their peers and will have broader career and vocation opportunities. They will also will marry later and have children at an older age enabling them to be on good financial footing. Their success will trickle down into the community as they are able to "safely" provide income for their extended families and become role models themselves for the younger generations of girls.
Learn more about the YWI here.
Hear about the YWI from Stella, a participant.