Advancing Girls’ Education (AGE) in Africa’s mission is to provide life-changing opportunities to young women in Malawi through targeted initiatives in education, mentoring, and leadership development. In the short-term, AGE Africa’s goal is to graduate talented and disadvantaged young women who are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and self-confidence they need to make healthy and informed choices about their futures. In the long-term, our vision is that all girls in Africa will have equal access to secondary education and that young female scholars will be empowered to finish school, leverage their educations into viable opportunities for earned income, and have the tools they need to self-advocate for their own life choices. AGE Africa seeks to produce better outcomes for girls nationwide in Malawi by creating a model for girls’ achievement that informs public education models throughout the country.
AGE Africa is one of the early pioneers in Malawi focused on impacting nationwide trends in girls’ education. Through our interventions, over 90% of AGE Africa scholars complete all four years of secondary school, compared to less than 6% of girls completing secondary school nationwide. More than 50% of AGE Africa scholars successfully transition to post-secondary school education or into lucrative entrepreneurial and employment endeavors. The AGE Africa Scholarship Fund, the organization's cornerstone program, provides comprehensive four-year scholarships, including the cost of tuition, school uniforms, school supplies, personal hygiene items, transportation, and final exam fees, for girls at 24 schools. Since 2005, we have provided 339 four-year scholarships and will provide 224 scholarships in this school year.
Funding for this project will ensure AGE Africa has the resources available to pay for the second half of the school year for much needed school fees, bicycle (for girls traveling long distances), school supplies (includes school uniform and shoes), toiletries, school exam fees, and travel stipends (for girls attending boarding school to travel home for the holidays) for 75 girls at eight (8) of our partner schools.
Going to school in the early years of her primary school was more of a routine but without purpose. She had no understanding why she had to walk fifteen kilometers each way to attend Chisoka Primary school. Like many schools in rural Malawi, the school had no desks, water or toilet. In sixth grade, Diana began to connect an education to a better life. Her friend’s mother was a nurse and she encouraged her daughter, Diana’s friend, and Diana to stay in school. She began to pay attention in school and work hard in her class.
Diana experienced multiple learning challenges at her elementary school and she found difficulty in learning. “One of the male teachers wanted us to go him to seek help in his subject of specialization only in a company of boys. In class he shouted at girls looking at him, saying they were being seductive and that he had a beautiful wife at home,” she said. This affected Diana’s learning as she could not go to the teacher to ask for clarity when she did not understand the subject. She could also not ask in class as she was afraid that boys will mock and laugh at her.
In 2009 Diana was admitted to Goliati Community Day Secondary School. Unfortunately, the school was not close and did not offer boarding facilities which meant Diana would need to walk over 20 kilometers one way to attend school. Diana decided to take admittance tests in hopes to be selected to another school.
“I had to try again. I did not feel safe to walk that long distance alone. I had already experienced violence by boys who blocked my way, wanting to beat me because I had refused to be in a relationship with them,” she said. She also experienced sexual harassment from a local businessman from her village who wanted to use his money to influence Diana’s father to withdraw her from school, to marry her.
In 2010, Diana was selected to St Mary’s Girls Secondary School. The school had dormitories which meant Diana would not walk long distances. Unfortunately, her parents are subsistence farmers and were unable to afford the school fees. AGE Africa stepped in and provided Diana with a four-year scholarship.
“I was one of the fortunate students who were supported by Advancing Girls Education in Africa. They paid for my school fees and provided me with school supplies.”
Diana graduated from St. Mary’s and is finishing her fourth year at the College of Medicine in Malawi where she is studying Pharmacy. She is the first person in her family and in her entire village to go to college. She continues to inspire her sister and other girls in her village.
How the funds are going to be spent:
Upon receipt of funds, AGE Africa will disburse approximately $668 to cover the cost of school fees (includes school admin fees, boarding fees for girls in public boarding schools), bicycle (for each scholar that walks long distances to school), uniforms, shoes, school supplies, toiletries, school exam fees, to eight of our partner schools in the southern region of Malawi for one (1) year.
How can you help?
Every donation, big or small, is capable of making a change in the lives of Malawi girls. We would also appreciate you taking the time to share our campaign with your friends and community. Thank you!
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This project is supported by the Girls Opportunity Alliance.
Your donation to benefit this campaign/project will be allocated to the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund (“GOA Fund”), a project of GoFundMe.org (a U.S. public charity). The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund may grant a refund in limited circumstances at its sole and absolute discretion, however, donations are not refundable after the GoFundMe payment platform has transferred your donation to the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund. Transfers from GoFundMe to Girls Opportunity Alliance fund typically occur once monthly. All donations are subject to the variance power of GoFundMe.org, as stated in the applicable GoFundMe.org policies. Subject to applicable law, donations may be tax-deductible.
The GOA Fund is restricted to supporting girls' education and your donation is made for the support of the above described project. Notwithstanding that the campaign description may name a specific organization that is anticipated to engage in the projects, GoFundMe.org retains variance power, that is, discretion and control over how funds are disbursed within the purposes of the GOA Fund generally, and within the purpose of the project specifically. For example, if the project does not reach its minimum fundraising goal, GoFundMe.org may re-assign money raised to another campaign within the GOA Fund.
As of April 11, 2019, the Direct Impact Fund operates as GoFundMe.org.
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