Reading a grant final report of a successful project is very rewarding. Learning about a project where the organizers go beyond what they planned originally, now that's really special.
Young and Empowered Malawi, operating in the southern part of the country, applied for a WIL Empowerment Grant in 2021 to launch an after school Girls Literacy Program. The objective of the program was to help the girls increase their confidence in reading and speaking in English. In this area of Malawi, the school curriculum is based in English despite the fact that the native language is Chichewa. Many girls, failing to grasp English as a second language, end up dropping out of school and wind up as young teenage brides.
In their grant proposal, Young and Empowered Malawi projected that their program would provide for 30 school age girls. Surprisingly, the need was so great that 50 girls enrolled - 66% more than expected! Rather than turn the girls away, organizers chose to make adjustments to accommodate the extra students. Money originally intended to be used to buy chairs went towards renting larger classroom space. Covid provided other obstacles, forcing them to run the program on Saturdays instead of after school.
Results of the program have been positive as shown by improvement in participants' English grades and a noticeable confidence in oral expression. Young and Empowered Malawi plans to continue this program and is sourcing more funding to help more girls and possibly enroll older women who have shown interest in learning English as a second language.
Job well done!