This project will deliver a series of ten locally led workshops tackling the issue of child marriage and sexual violence against women and girls. Each workshop will be for a maximum of 20 girls aged between 10 to12 years old. The intended result of these workshops is to provide support and education, raise awareness of child marriage and encourage community dialogue on these issues. The workshops provide a space for girls to talk about these issues, where it takes away the shame and stigma.
In Malawi 42% of girls are married before the age of 18 and has the 12th highest child marriage prevalence rate in the world (UNICEF, 2018). Child marriage significantly limits a girl's freedom and deprives her of opportunities, it continues the cycle of poverty which negatively affects the overall development. Also, child brides are at higher risk of suffering from sexual transmitted diseases or complicated pregnancies.
These workshops provide a female-only safe space, which educates girls on human rights and sexual health, raises awareness of the causes and consequences of child marriage and encourages community dialogue on these issues; which all helps to promote the negative impact of child marriage across all levels of the community. Also, the facilitators provide support to girls who may be at risk from becoming a child bride.
This project will give 200 girls in the rural area of Thyolo access to information and support on the issues related to child marriage, which will empower through education, improve their confidence and well-being. Also, we have found many of the children who participate in these workshops go home and discuss the topics covered in workshops with their families.