MasterPeace around the world: Malawi
With #MasterPeace_Around_The_World we focus on the people behind our 45+ MasterPeace clubs. We built on their ideas, hard work, and creativity and would like to share their stories with you.
In cooperation with the Sustainable Rural Community Development Organisation (SURCOD), MasterPeace Malawi is working on creating more inclusive learning environments for girls. As Malawi has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world and ranks 173 out of 188 on the UN’s Gender Inequality Index (GII), such efforts are highly needed. SURCOD and MasterPeace Malawi hope that their efforts will contribute to equal access for boys and girls to education (SDG 4) and a better position for women in the Malawi society (SDG 5).
‘At SURCOD we perceive peace as the cornerstone of human development. As MasterPeace promotes peace in all sectors of life all over the world, a believe that we share, we felt the need to join them in their international movement.’ – Gerlad Mchacha
Under the name ‘Go Girls Education Project’ (Atsikana Tiphunzire in Chichewa), SURCOD and MasterPeace Malawi focus on supporting more inclusive learning environments for marginalized girls. The projects that are related to this do not only focus on creating awareness among rural communities and children, but also empowers young female teachers to be more alert on gender-based issues. These female teachers will operate as a female Agent of Change (AoC), who will be equipped with knowledge and skills on how to be open with the girls. In the end, such a training has to lead to creating safe environments for girls so the teachers can successfully address the barriers that are preventing girls from opportunities to stay in school.
Next to the effects of early child marriages, these AoC’s also focus on teaching their children about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In Malawi, teenage girls are commonly preyed upon by older men known as “sugar daddies,” who give money and gifts in exchange for sex. Older men have been sexually active longer and with more partners, and thus are a high-risk group to transmit HIV. As a result, HIV rates are five times higher among 15-19 year old girls compared to boys. Next to that, girls are often less able to insist on abstinence or safe sex practices when partnered with an older adult man, which increases the risk of unplanned pregnancy. By providing training for female Agent of Change (AoC) teachers are educated in how to address such issues.
We want to thank Gerlad Mchacha and January Watchman Mvula for their incredible efforts in Malawi!