Determined to Develop’s Youth Sponsorship program is complemented by our non-formal education initiatives, which focus on youth issues and the development of soft skills. This includes tutoring for sponsored students and workshops held during school holidays.
Currently our largest non-formal education initiative is the Female Mentorship Program (FMP), which targets young females at local primary and secondary schools, in an attempt to tackle the inequality in access to education between males and females.
In addition to the universal barriers faced by both genders in Malawi; females often face further difficulties accessing education with figures from the World Bank showing that only 27% of Malawian girls enroll in secondary school. Often male children are prioritized to attend school, particularly if not every child in the family can afford to be educated. Even for those girls who do attend secondary school, the dropout rate is higher than that of male students because of additional pressures such as early marriage and pregnancy. The United Nations states that over half of girls in Malawi are married by the age of 18.
D2D’s Female Mentorship Program aims to provide a strong sense of support and guidance to local secondary school girl’s. Combining one-on-one support with small group sessions, the program prioritizes education and positively directs each girl to see her schooling through until the end to secure a brighter future for herself.
Determined to Develop has 65 secondary school girls undergoing its Female Mentorship Program.
Girls Club is a female youth empowerment program directed at primary and secondary school girls. Facilitated by the female staff members of D2D three times a week, Girls Club is an all-female safe-space used to address the challenges brought on by Malawian culture and village life in order to provide the girls with ways to overcome and rise above those challenges. Using separate, large group sessions for the primary school girls and secondary school girls, lessons on self-confidence, self-esteem, leadership, career goals, health and safety, study techniques, positive behavior, public speaking, substance abuse and so on are given. Each lesson works to empower and provide the girls with the right information, encouraging them to make the right choices and work hard to fully complete their education.
More than 135 local girls attend Determined to Develop’s Girls Clubs, with 78 primary school aged girls and 60 secondary school aged girls all taking part as members.
These programs provide a safe and open place for girls to come together and discuss their experiences, ask questions and provide peer-support for one another.