Friday, February 1, 2013

Young woman divorces, goes back to school

By Elias Banda
The number of girls dropping out of school to get married or due to pregnancies is on the increase in Mulanje and the situation is attributed to lack of female role models coupled with the perception that marriage is the only means of survival for women.  But the issue seems different for Brenda Misomali 17 who,   Under the influence of her peers,  dropped out of school three years ago and got married to a barber at Mulanje Mission Trading Center.
However, the marriage was short-lived because after eight months into marriage, Brenda’s husband started cheating on her and most of the times, he could not come home for several days. The situation made Brenda worried that she might contract HIV in the process because rumors were rife that her husband was promiscuous. She later divorced him and went back to her parents.
Brenda with her parents
Meanwhile Brenda’s mother was a REFLECT circle member where she acquired writing and reading skills and this development motivated Brenda to think about going back to school. Her mother further encouraged  her to go back to school and she eventually registered at Nalipili Primary School where she is now in Standard 7.
In an interview, Brenda expressed regret that she rushed into married and she vowed to continue her education despite scoffs from her peers. She said that her ambition is to became a nurse some day and become a role model in her area.
serious with school, Brenda would like to be a nurse
Speaking in an interview    Enhanced Livelihood Project Manger Andiyesa Mhango said her project is mobilizing girls such as Brenda to go back to school. She said the project is collaborating with the Ministry of Education and village based mother groups to encourage girls who are married to go back to a school.
The Enhanced Livelihood Project is being supported by Sweden to bring about individual and society change through empowering women and the girl child in Mulanje.