Empower the girl child; Educate the Nation

By Samuel Malasa Banda

In a traditionalist society where women are mostly regarded victims, girls at Cornerstone Ministries have chosen to challenge the stereotype and stand out as heroines.

Using the Girl Empowerment program, Cornerstone is reaching out to every girl child who attends the After-school Program, and so far, the initiative has reached to a majority of girls in the whole community.

Established in February 2013 by Enettie Malangano, the program has four focal points; enhancing academic performance, spiritual development, advancing social and life skills and promoting hygiene among girls.

According to Cornerstone’s Girl Empowerment Program Coordinator Emily Shaba, the program targets girls aged between 10 and 18.

To Shaba, the weekly meetings convened every Friday with the girls, they are not just mere girls’ time out, they have been so instrumental in shaping the girls attitude to challenges in life.

“In the one year that I have been at the helm of the program, we have seen tremendous improvement in the turn out of the girls,” she commended. “Many girls have found a safe haven in the mentors that we have in the program.” Concluded Shaba.

Shaba, an Urban Promise International fellow said the program now has an average of 50 girls.

Among other things, when the girls meet they share the word of God, discuss the challenges they face on daily basis and also help those who are in need physically like sourcing clothes to distribute to the helpless.

Asked on what challenges is the program facing three years since its inception, the program coordinator singled out lack of enough resources.

“There are somethings which we would like to do like inviting external mentors to speak to the kids, or maybe having some tours in colleges to see how successful other ladies are, but due to limited resources, we cannot do that” she said.

In a community that has a high school dropout rate, especially among girls, the girl empowerment is striving to change their attitude and mentality towards education. And as it stands, the challenge also spreads to reaching out to the communities and transform their view on girls’ education.

For Cornerstone as an organization, education for the girl is more important as she not only builds the home, but all routine responsibilities are completed by her. Today’s girl child will be the mother of tomorrow.

Author: cornerstonemalawi

Cornerstone Ministries’ vision is to create a better community in Christ where children and youth are empowered and their lives transformed.

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