Christine has faced many challenges in her 16 years of life in Malawi, but her drive to complete her education has helped her through it all.
Christine lives in a community where tradition says that education is valuable only for males. She didn’t want to get married at age 12 or 14, like many other girls were forced to do in her community. Instead, she dreamed of going to secondary school, of even going to college. But education in Malawi is not free and no one – not her parents, relatives, or friends – supported her.
Christine did not give up. The answer to her problems came in the form of fish, and her own entrepreneurial spirit. Christine started her own fish-selling business, which paid for her secondary school fees.
When Christine refused to marry a boy in her community, he locked her in his home against her will for one week, and her parents and the community sided with him. Their marriage would increase her family’s worth, and the community thought she was ready for marriage.
No one asked Christine.
That’s when AGANET, a program that Girl Up supports, entered the picture. The organization funded the rest of Christine’s secondary education and she didn’t have to get married. Christine has since graduated with a diploma in Natural Resource Management and is continuing her education.
Christine is proof that when you give a girl support to receive an education, she’ll take on the world.