Girl Up has backed rising demands for a renewed push to ensure every girl in Chikwawa District learns.
The global movement to help girls achieve their potential recently dispatched envoys to Chikwawa to appreciate strides achieved by the United Nations (UN) Foundation’s joint programme on adolescent girls.
The initiative, bankrolled through UN Population Fund (UNFPA), has reduced early marriages and teen pregnancies in Chikwawa and Mangochi.
In Chikwawa, schoolgirls commended the intervention for offering them tuition fees, learning materials, bicycles learning basics and sexual and reproductive health information to remain in school.
Primary education adviser Gerald Pengapenga said almost 125 pupils in Konzere Zone dropped out last year.
“Nearly 25 percent were disturbed by teen pregnancy and child marriages, but the drop-out rates have fallen from 186 in 2013 to 151 in 2015 when the joint programme expired,” he says.
Records show that enrolment grew from 3 931 to 4 765 in the same period.
Interestingly, about 25 of those who re-enrolled made it to Phanda Community Day Secondary School (CDSS).
In an interview, George Washington University student Morgan Wood, who participated in raising funds for the initiative, said it was amazing that “a simple bicycle is helping poor girls to remain in school and overcome barriers to their dreams.
“Life stories of adolescent mothers going back to school are absolutely fascinating. Every girl, no matter where she is born, deserves to dream. We just help make their dreams a reality,” she said.
Team leader Julie Willing hinted that UN Foundation will re-launch the intervention together with UNFPA and Malawi Girls Guides Association. n