Why CHATS Girls’ Clubs?
AGE Africa knows that a scholarship alone is not enough to ensure that girls reach the academic finish line. To succeed in school and in life they must be able to self-advocate for their own life choices, be empowered with information about their sexual and reproductive health, and learn critical skills that will help them generate income on the market.
What is CHATS?
Creating Healthy Approaches to success (CHATS) is a three-year after-school program after aimed at helping scholars achieve academic success and gain life skills. CHATS Clubs help to provide girls with the tools they need to self-advocate for their own life choices, be empowered with information about their sexual and reproductive health, and learn critical skills that will help them generate income and be prosperous.
Throughout the first two years, Girl’s CHATS Club participants cover fundamental life and leadership skills such as sexual and reproductive health, group facilitation, gender and rights, as well as self advocacy. These soft skills are important for girls’ emotional development and are shown to keep them engaged and enrolled in secondary school.
The third year of the CHATS focuses on a comprehensive entrepreneurship program where girls learn fundamental skills for starting and maintaining small businesses. Girls then have the unique opportunity to put their learning into practice by starting their own entrepreneurial ventures and engaging with the community. Through the entrepreneurship and community engagement components of CHATS our scholars are creating a market for themselves within and beyond their communities.
Since AGE Africa first piloted its CHATS Clubs in 2013 the Clubs have grown immensely. Last year, in 2016, more than 1,600 girls participated in CHATS Girls’ Club at 24 schools throughout southern Malawi.
- 90% of CHATS Girls’ Club members completed secondary school
- 91% delay marriage and pregnancy until after their 18th birthday
- 90% of AGE Africa’s CHATS Girls’ Club participants feel they are a role model in their village