Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries. Most families cannot afford to finance their children’s education which can cost up to $40 or more annually. Only 33% of secondary school-aged children are attending school. From this 33%, only 42% are girls. Most girls marry early in exchange for dowry; payment from the husband’s family.
With the infrequency of social mobility in Malawi, daughters and the daughter’s daughter often face the same fate: early marriage and insufficient schooling. Over time this vicious cycle has created a substantial population of young women who are under-educated, jobless, and facing extreme poverty.
Tiwale means, “let us shine or glow,” in Chichewa. We are a youth-founded & led community-based organization in Mtsiliza, Lilongwe, Malawi focused on supporting women, girls, and non-binary people through educational, entrepreneurial, and economical opportunities.
Tiwale launched with a team of five young people between ages 14 and 19 years old in 2012.
The organizations’ initial focus was a business workshop that was to be followed by micro-loans. This enabled 40 women to start businesses. Tiwale then diversified to vocation skills training offering fashion design, sewing, and tie-dye workshops engaging 66 more women. The products made in these programs enabled us to buy land and build a community center offering after-school homework support, a library, music tech education, STEM, and a learning center. Tiwale also offers education grants.
Since 2012 Tiwale has directly supported 376 women and girls and reached 20,000+ youth in workshops and digital campaigns.