The Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Katete District has embarked on a role modeling programme to change the early marriage mindset in order to promote girls education in the district.
The YWCA has brought on board local women government departmental heads as role models for the community outreach programme.
The career women are being taken round communities to speak to young girls and boys on the benefits of education.
Speaking during one of the sessions in Kagoro, District YWCA Ending Child Marriage Coordinator Cindy Mwila says the role model motivation talks are part of its various interventions aimed at ending child marriage.
“We are working on a programme for adolescents aged ten to 19 years and we are working in three wards of the district that is Katiula, Kapangulula and Chavuka wards of the district,” she said.
A total of 1.110 adolescents in the target age group received career motivational talks from the role models in the last three months.
“Currently, as of the third quarter this year, we have engaged 560 adolescent girls and 450 adolescent boys in our programme,” she said.
The YWCA programme aimed at ending child marriage cover aspects of health and financial literacy so that they can be empowered.
And Katete District Magistrate Mary Musongole urged the girls to guard their thoughts as what one thinks is what one becomes.
The Magistrate said even if one said they want to be a pilot, but in their thoughts they harbored getting pregnant or being married off, they will definitely get married other than becoming a pilot because marriage is their constant thought.
“You are what you think. So from yesterday onwards, I want you to start thinking of things that will give you positive change. If you want to be a doctor, a nurse, a lawyer, a teacher or a pilot, start thinking about those things and start thinking of how you are going to achieve these things,” she said.
She further encouraged the girls that they can be, do and achieve anything they wanted and that their current financial and social status did not determine their future as long as they had a concrete vision for it.
Meanwhile, Katete District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Ruth Moyo encouraged the girls on the value that education brings in one’s life.
Ms Moyo noted that education enhances one’s value, not just financially but even socially to the extent of influencing the choice in life partners.
“You are giving value to yourself through education and even the marriage that will come, will be that type and with an educated person,” she said.
And Anastasia Nyirenda a grade 11 pupil from Kapoche Day secondary school who says she wants to be a lawyer appreciated that she has learnt that there is no need to hurry into marriage but first complete schooling.
Her colleague Theresa Phiri, an adolescent from Kagoro said she has been motivated to prioritise education because it has a lot of good things in store for her.
“I have learnt that we don’t need to go into marriage at a young age but first have our education and experience the good in it then get married,” she said.