It has been several years now that Nkhudzi Bay Utale Club have worked to support girl child education in their community, in Nkhudzi Bay, Malawi. This initiative started with the building of a washroom, a compost toilet, an electric solar system, and kiosks for potable water, as well as providing sanitary pads so that girls wouldn’t have to miss school when they were menstruating. This project, under the banner of “Girls Not Brides,” was supported by several individual donors.
While these projects had an effective impact, the team in Nkhudzi Bay soon realised that there were many young girls who had dropped out of school due to early child marriage or pregnancies, or lack of family support.
The team of Nkhudzi Bay Utale Club CC, therefore, initiated the “Go Back to School Project” in Mwanyama village, with the aim to improve the re-enrolment and access to quality education for adolescent mothers who had previously been forced to leave school. This project was mostly volunteer-run, with funds being raised to contribute to paying teachers to support a group of 28 girls in completing their education.
Unfortunately, the funds for this project have been limited, and Nkhudzi Bay Utale Club CC was forced to reconsider other options to support these girls. Despite not having funds for teachers, the girls themselves have continued to meet and support one another. The support and kindness from those outside of the community also did not stop.
Recently Nkhudzi Bay Utale Club CC has partnered with Village Foundation to work with visiting volunteers to provide social-psychological support and mentorship for these girls. Eunice Wambui Njuguna is one of the volunteers from Kenya, who has committed to spending a month in Malawi working with the young women.
Just recently, the URI team with Nkhudzi Bay Utale Club CC presented Eunice with a certificate to show their appreciation for her dedication and support to the girls of Nkhudzi Bay. The team, with Eunice and the girls, spent the day together sharing experiences and talking about how to find ways to continue their education. While funding continues to be a challenge for this group, the spirit of commitment and learning is strong!