BAILED FROM EARLY MARRIAGE

Modester Fred, 19, is one of the adolescent girls at Mkuche Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chapananga in Chikwawa district who have returned back to school after getting pregnant.

Modester studied her primary school and Kunyondo Primary School. When she was 13 years old in standard 6 in the year 2014 Modester dropped out of school when she got into a relationship with a certain boy at the school. By this time, she was only 13 years old. The two decided to drop out of school and got married.

Modester explained how their parents tried to separate them from getting married.

“Our parents didn’t really welcome our marriage and used any means to separate us from getting married but since we really loved each other, we married each other,” said Modester.

After having a child in 2015, the two remained together up until in 2018 when the husband started mistreating Modester.

“The husband used to shout, beat me for no valid reasons and even stopped providing enough support for the family,” said Modester.

In the same year, when Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) through its Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project was implementing its activities, Modester was among the victims of the project who were asked to go back to school.

CRECCOM’s AGYW Field Officer, Bridget Namacha, said that the organization use different approaches to bring back girls who dropped out of school back to school.

“We do conduct life skills sessions, career talks and role modelling on importance education to motivate adolescent girls and young women who dropped out of school,” said Namacha.

After receiving life skills session on the importance of education, Modester was motivated to go back to school. She is now in standard 7 at Kunyondo Primary School and wishes to become a Medical Doctor when she finishes her education.

Her child is now 4 years old and her parents are assisting Modester in providing all the basic needs

AGYW project is being implemented by CRECCOM in Chikwawa, with funding from The Global Fund through ActionAid Malawi to increase awareness of adolescent girls and young women in HIV and AIDS, reduced school dropout rate and incidences of Gender Based Violence.

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