CHATS Girls’ Club

Empowering girls to make change in their own lives

CHATS Girls’ Clubs are a high-impact after school program that trains girls as leaders, change agents, sexual and reproductive health experts and entrepreneurs.

Why CHATS Girls’ Club?

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.

We thought it would be worthwhile to delve deeper and share more about the origins, background, and impact of AGE Africa’s broadest-reaching program. So, we created a handy infographic that shares all the necessary information to answer this big question.

CHATS’ Impact

Since AGE Africa first piloted its CHATS Clubs in 2013 the Clubs have grown immensely. In 2017, over 2100 girls participated in CHATS Girls’ Club at 24 schools throughout southern Malawi. We’ve found that as a result:

  • 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

To read more about the evaluation of our work, please visit Our Impact.

Ticheze Atsikana – Let’s CHATS Radio

Let’s CHATS Radio is a nationwide radio program in Malawi that empowers girls and young women through an integrated approach to education, health, gender equality, and career path development. Through interviews, radio dramas, and community discussions, the show identifies and explores the journey toward equality and empowerment for women and girls across Malawi. Episodes cover COVID-19 safety, life skills, leadership, sexual and reproductive health, gender rights, goal setting, continuing education, and entrepreneurship. Each 30-minute episode includes an overview of the given topic and insights from special guests, including AGE Africa scholars, local women leaders, political officials, or subject matter experts. The radio show is aired weekly on a national broadcasting radio and 3 community radio stations, reaching approximately 4 million girls across Malawi.

Amplifying girls’ voices is a key pillar of Ticheze Atsikana. AGE Africa proudly prioritizes involving girls and young women in developing and delivering each radio episode. The more girls and women are given opportunities to share their stories, opinions, and insights, the more everyone can rise.


AGE Africa transitioned its CHATS programming to a radio format (Ticheze Atsikana Radio) during the COVID-19 lockdown. Girls are most vulnerable when they’re out of school, and education access is a fundamental pillar of all AGE Africa programming. During the global emergency, AGE Africa had to quickly pivot that programming to adapt to the needs of our scholars. The Creating Healthy Approaches to Success (CHATS) life skills curriculum and program shifted from an afterschool club for girls to a local radio program reaching girls across Malawi’s southern region, including the Mangochi District. Through this platform, girls and community members received critical emergency response information about Covid-19 prevention and gender-based violence education. From the pandemic’s lessons and community members’ feedback, AGE Africa developed a climate change and emergency response curriculum so communities are equipped to handle future pandemics and other emergencies, such as natural disasters.

“CHATS helped me a lot to reach this stage. I learnt to be confident in whatever I am doing, to know who I am and the importance of education.”

Shelter Matitha, Age 19

Shelter is attending the Malawi University of Science and Technology, studying computer systems and security. She credits the CHATS (Creating Healthy Approaches to Success) Girls Club in having a large role in her success. Through CHATS, Shelter learned how to speak in public with confidence, how to navigate the pressure of sexual relationships and marriage, and understood the value of an education. She gained confidence and now considers herself a role model and a leader among her peers, and she wants to become a pillar in her community by implementing development projects and supporting others in gaining an education.