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Dyanyama Mother Group Saves 20-Year-Old Loveness from School Dropout

Loveness (left) with mother group members who continually provide psychosocial support to her at school.

"I took the wrong route in dealing with peer pressure during one of the holidays. Instead of changing the kind of friends that I had, I kept staying in the company of friends who were into sexual relationships… I eventually adopted their unhealthy behaviors and ended up dropping out of school due to pregnancy until the mother group came to my rescue", Loveness Macheso narrated her story of how she dropped out of school due to early pregnancy whilst in Standard 8 but through the skill of psycho social support provision and community engagement acquired from Girls Get Equal (GGE) project, the mother group intervened in accordance with the readmission policy.

Located in Kwapatira village, Group Village Headman Dyanyama, T/A Ndanga in Mulanje, Dyanyama Primary School is one of the schools where CRECCOM established and trained mother groups under the NORAD-funded GGE (Nzotheka) project. In 2022, Dyanyama mother group got trained on their role in readmission policy and psychosocial support provision. “We were told by Nzotheka project trainers that we need to proactively engage teachers, parents and chiefs in identifying girls who dropped out of school for various reasons and support them to be readmitted back to school”, explained Polina Yohane, chairperson of the mother group.

The same year that GGE project trained the mother group, Loveness Macheso who was 19 years old then saw her school journey coming to an end as she fell victim of early pregnancy. Loveness who is a second born child in a family of 5 children got pregnant after getting into a sexual relationship with a boy during the holiday of her second term in Standard 8. She then dropped out of school and thought she could no longer go back to class ever again. But having learnt about Loveness’ story from the head teacher soon after the GGE training, the mother group followed her up by meeting her parents to encourage them of sending her back to school six months after delivery.

“I felt good to be told that there was still a chance for me to complete school even as a teen mother and this year [2023] I decided to repeat standard 7 to gain momentum before I get back to standard 8 where I left from”, Loveness explained. She is now happily back in class where her teacher Margaret Mamiwa welcomed her well and supports her to do better in class despite what she went through. “I work together with the mother group in providing psychosocial support to Loveness and other readmitted girls as trained by GGE”, Mamiwa added. According to Mamiwa, the regular psychosocial support is one of the sustainability measures to keep the girls in school. Apart from that, the school organizes monthly counselling workshops for the girls together with the mother group.


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