Scholarships that change lives
AGE Africa provides life-changing scholarships that cover the full cost of education for girls attending government high schools.
AGE Africa’ scholarship fund was launched in 2005 in response to the overwhelming need for financial support for girls’ education. Over the past 12 years, the fund has steadily grown from just 6 scholarships to 234 scholarships in 2018.
Covering the Full Cost of Education
In Malawi, the indirect cost of education can often be more than twice the cost of tuition at secondary schools. AGE Africa’s scholarships not only assist girls with paying school fees but also with: the cost of uniforms, school supplies, transportation, and personal hygiene materials such as sanitary pads. Our scholarships aim to ensure that the most vulnerable girls stay in school and succeed.
Scholarships that Change Lives
In Malawi, just 6% of girls complete their secondary education and 50% become child brides. By comparison:
- over 90% of AGE Africa scholars complete secondary school
- over 90% delay pregnancy and marriage to well beyond their 18th birthday
“I am different than other girls because I believe in myself and I can do anything,”
Margaret is just 14 years old and already in Form Three at Saint Mary’s Secondary School for Girls. She is extraordinarily bright, speaks with strong conviction and powerful resolve each time she speaks. She loves her schooling but, had struggled with the attitudes about girls’ education in her village as well as doubts over her young age.
“My parents would not agree to my schooling,” Margaret told us. “In my area, girls are not educated.” Her neighbor always told her son that they would be able to give him everything and that he would be able to get knowledge from being a man.
With the support of AGE Africa, Margaret has thrived at St. Mary’s with a positive image of who she is and what she can do. “I am different than other girls because I believe in myself and I can do anything,” Margaret says. She aspires to become a pilot, looking up to Malawi’s first Defense Force pilot, Flora Ngwinjili. She has also had support through AGE Africa’s CHATS program at St. Marys where the girls can come together to share their experiences with one another. Margaret says the CHATS allow her to be independent and feel like she can achieve anything!
Access to post-secondary education (college and vocational school) is critical to empowering young women to become leaders in the economic, social, and political realms. In Malawi and around the world, the inclusion of women in post-secondary education and the workforce plays a vital role in uplifting families and communities out of generational poverty.
AGE Africa provides post-secondary scholarships, career counseling, job coaching, internship placement, and application support to secondary school graduates seeking to continue their education or enter the workforce. We utilize peer mentoring and alumnae engagement to foster one-on-one guidance that meets the individual needs of each scholar.
Merit-based post-secondary scholarships are awarded to alumnae who have completed secondary school and obtained acceptance to public universities in Malawi. Scholarships are awarded for a maximum of four (4) years to scholars meeting academic eligibility requirements. Scholarship packages include tuition, food, accommodations, school supplies, peer-led career path development, and a laptop.
At less than one percent, Malawi’s tertiary education enrollment rate is among the lowest in the world and is well below the average for sub-Saharan Africa, and less than one percent of women in Malawi hold a bachelor’s degree or higher(World Bank, 2016). Over 90% of AGE Africa scholars complete secondary school, and 50% of AGE Africa scholars who complete secondary school qualify for tertiary education. 40% of our alumnae are enrolled in higher education institutions or currently preparing applications compared to just 11% of female graduates nationwide.
“The glass ceiling is easier to break when we do it together”
Julita John is an AGE Africa alumna who graduated from Mulanje Secondary School and most recently became the first woman to graduate from Malawi College of Health Sciences as a dental therapist, and is currently working as an intern at Mulanje District Hospital, where her main duties include general dental procedures, tooth extractions, rotary endodontics, and working with children on the importance of good dental hygiene practices.
As one of the first female dentists in Malawi and the first woman in her community to attend college, Julita urges other young women to “be trendsetters.” “The glass ceiling is easier to break when we do it together,” she states.