Women’s rights activist, Elita Chamdimba represents a younger generation of Malawian women, by making a difference through the Students with Dreams project, “Little Big Prints” (LBP).
“In secondary schools, there are more boys than girls which indicate that the higher the education levels, the lower the number of girls. Reading things like these made me wonder, ‘why girls? And why isn’t someone doing something about this?’” Elita explains.
LBP exists to address the challenges that Malawian girls face in achieving higher education, like early school dropouts and child marriage. With her sense of social activism growing, Chamdimba uses her knowledge to develop a strengths-based curriculum that guides trained mentors who are matched with secondary school girls for a 15 to 20-week programme.
“Little Big Prints is a project that gives educational mentor-ship to girls in secondary schools in Malawi. Our main goal of the project is to increase the number of girls that apply for Tertiary Education. We do this by providing them with immediate role models who guide them through the process. These role models are usually female college students,” Elita says in an interview.
The LBP mentorship curriculum includes life skills, education and career guidance, and community participation. Since its launch, LBP has trained over 45 mentors, worked in five schools and matched at least 100 students with mentors.
“Little BIG Prints has expanded to work in communities all over Malawi, as some of our mentors who are now working and living in various communities have continued with the dream and they continue to inspire and motivate girls in the schools and communities around them. Even though it was not our goal, we sub-consciously developed leaders!” she exclaims.