Malawi – Northern Region - the Rumphi district: most people here belong to the dominating ethnic tribe of the Tumbukas. The Tumbakas follow the patrimonial type of marriage. A husband pays a bride price called “dowry” which comprises of two to six cattle.
Through this system, most families encourage boys to go to school but wait impatiently for the daughters to get married and receive their bride portion. Therefore, even if families send their girl child to school, they offer very little support as they think the girls do not need to receive education.
In addition, this attitude is aggravated by external factors:
Most of the community secondary schools are 50 to 60 kilometers apart. This poses a big problem for students residing in between these schools, as they have no means of Transportation, the students need to rent houses closer to their schools and have to take care of themselves.
These young, 12 to 16 year old, children have to prepare their own food, take care of their clothes and pay the rent of the houses on their own.
Since girls receive very little support, they are forced to promiscuity to get their basic needs like food, clothing and even school fees to some point.
The school dropout level is very high (more than half), due to early marriages, early pregnancies, HIIV/AIDS infection and death.
The goal of this project is to help the girls by creating awareness for their situation, for the dangers they are facing and by showing how this can be changed.
This project is sustainable because it focuses on creating awareness for the girls' position with all stakeholders involved.
If you would like to learn more about this project, please refer to the website www.supportmalawi.org/projects.