Girls Shine Academy, Malawi

In Mkanda village, western Malawi, there is no chance of continuing your education past primary school if you’re a girl. On the face of it, the reason is simple: there is no secondary school for girls to attend. It doesn’t exist. But that’s about to change.

INTO Giving is helping build the Girls Shine Academy, with a grant of $10,000 (£7,000 GBP). The school will be solely for 14-18-year-old girls. In its first year of operation, there will be 40 girls and 10 teachers, rising to 200 girls and 20 teachers over the next two-three years. 

All of the girls will come from rural Mkanda, and the neighbouring villages. Almost one in three Malawian girls can’t read or write, and more than one-in-every four-is a child labourer. Half will be married before they’re 18-years-old, and many before they turn fifteen.

In Malawi, girls are viewed as lower performers in school than boys and, sorrowfully, will often accede to this view. They are voiceless, and can have little if any sense of independence or opportunity.

Yet when girls do receive an education, things change for the better – for girls as individuals, and for their families, their communities. For example (and just to start):

  • Each additional year of secondary school education increases a girls income by 15-25%
  • Wages, agricultural income and productivity – all critical for reducing poverty – are higher where women involved in agriculture receive a better education
  • Reduced risk of HIV/AIDS infection

Girls Shine Academy will be a two room brick schoolhouse, with a wood and iron roof, cement floor, an administrative office, and an outdoor toilet. 

INTO’s fundraised support will be allocated to a range of costs, including land excavation, bricks and timber, doors, windows, roofing and, once the school has been completed in autumn 2016, books and teachers.