An organisation called Girls Hope has embarked on girl child empowerment education particularly for those living in rural areas, in a bid to promote and keep them in school.
Girls Hope is a non-profit making organization with an aim to help the rural girl child realize her potential, zeal and capabilities in the education sector and have confidence in herself that she can excel.
In an interview on Monday, Founder of the organization, Gloria Kasambwe said they are considering girl child education because a woman who is educated has the capability of addressing gender imbalances in labour forces.
“An educated woman participates more in the formal labour market because she becomes a good entrepreneur and has good marketing skills that make her succeed in the field,” she said.
She added that they are helping them to build confidence in young girls from primary till they get to secondary schools with hope that these girls would be future leaders and mentors in their communities.
She therefore, said the organisation would teach primary girls about disadvantages of early childhood marriages and pregnancies that are the causative root to poverty in their communities.
“We are working with four different primary schools in Thyolo north constituency, Traditional Authority (TA) Bvumbwe which include Thunga, Nkaombe, Mulambala and Chinkwende,” she said.
She pointed out that most girls from TA Bvumbwe are dropping out of school to look for money by working in tea and coffee estate companies in Thyolo where they meet with men from various areas of the country and marry them while young.
Due to this, Girls Hope is discouraging early childhood marriages because an educated woman is able to make an informed decision of having a smaller family which is sustainable and provides the family with the healthier food.
However, the organization has challenges in teaching and disseminating information to girls living in rural areas about the dramatic results of early sexual activities that result into early childhood pregnancies.
“Most of the girls are not aware of consequences of indulging themselves in unsafe sexual behaviors as a result they put their lives at a risk of either contracting Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs) or getting early pregnancies from men who are incapable of supporting the pregnancy,” she explained.
According to an International Labor Organization report, ‘Educating girls has proven to be one of the most important ways of breaking poverty cycles and is likely to have significant impacts on access to formal jobs in the longer term.’
In a separate interview, Head teacher for Chinkwende primary school, Mark Oubrine Cham’buwa said civic education, motivation and career guidance that can be imparted to girls will reduce school drop-out, early marriages and poverty that affects them.
A standard 6 pupil at Thunga primary school, Tawina Liyenda disclosed that girls’ education will help them reduce population growth and levels of school drop-out among them.
“Educated girls rarely get pregnancies and are also less likely to become pregnant as teenagers,” Liyenda said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :