ENGAGE Project Phases Out
The four year child marriages’ elimination project dubbed Enabling Girls to Advance Gender Equity (ENGAGE) implemented in Thyolo and Phalombe districts has come to an end with implementers satisfied with results on the ground.
The project was implemented by Girls Empowerment Network (GENET), Youth-Net and Counseling (YONECO), International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) and Rise Up.
The project’s Consultant Stanley Nyirenda says previously each of the three T/As of Changata and Nchiramwera in Thyolo and T/A Chiwalo of Phalombe where the project was implemented were registering over 200 child marriages annually but now some T/As are registering no child marriage case the whole year.
“The project has supported expansion of girl child care, protection and justice, standardize rights based curriculum for boys’ and girls’ initiation camps, formalizing and strengthening sexual harassment reporting system, popularize school re-admission policy and increase access to youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services,” said Nyirenda.
Traditional Authority Nchiramwera said the project has really helped his area as within four years over 201 child marriages have been terminated.
Mary Chikadye who is in form four at Masambanjati Community Day Secondary School in Thyolo district is a beneficiary of ENGAGE project.
“I dropped out of school at the age of 16 after getting pregnant in 2017 and re-enrolled six months after delivering my baby,” said Mary.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation bankrolled implementation of the project.