12 Oct ITL graduate Faith empowers girls in rural Malawi through peer mentoring
On the International Day of the Girl, meet Introduction to Leadership (ITL) course graduate Faith Mtalika. Read how her experiences inspired her to form the Mlowba Youth Ladies Mentorship Circle, a space for girls in rural Malawi to seek peer support in their leadership journeys.
Faith Mtalika is a 19-year-old Chemistry Honour student from the University of Malawi. As one of the few girls in her community pursuing STEM studies, she feels concerned about the lack of opportunities for girls to develop their academic and leadership potential outside of school.
“Considering the many problems faced by today’s youth, there is no doubt that girls are the most affected,” Faith explains. “Girls go through a lot of problems when it comes to leadership. In my community, for instance, they face a lack of confidence and an inability to discover their leadership potential and intellectual abilities. But we don’t have enough support.”
She knew something had to change but was unsure how to make this happen.
After taking the Introduction to Leadership Course at Wedu, she found the confidence and clarity to give concrete support to girls in her community, by forming the Mlombwa Youth Ladies Mentorship Circle.
Mlowba Youth Ladies Mentorship Circle
Every month, 20 girls from different rural communities in Malawi come together to share their short-term and long-term goals and seek support and accountability from their peers to reach them. Faith shares, “Mlombwa Youth Ladies mentorship circle’s main objective is to mentor, direct and strengthen a community of young girls and women to see beyond themselves and reach their desired goals.”
She describes the circle as a welcoming family that allows everyone to safely share their current situation and challenges. “Like a family, we find solutions and how best they can deal with such problems. These issues may be related to their studies, improving their livelihood, physical wellness, mental health and many more.”
Faith stands beside Agella Simenti, who took her secondary school national examinations last August. Through the mentorship circle, she received learning materials and advice and passed with flying colours! Agella shared her excitement from the peer mentoring experience, “Journeying with her has been absolutely life-changing for both of us. We pushed one another through the provision of all necessary academic resources and emotional support.”
After graduating, Faith hopes to expand her mentorship circle to more communities in Malawi. “My goal, as a leader, is to ensure that the ladies within the rural communities of Malawi are serving the best in their daily lives. Thanks to the Wedu team, my confidence has been unleashed. Now, I am more involved with my community because I have unlocked the key that makes it all possible: Confidence.”
We have no doubt that she will continue to rise despite the odds, and that she will have a community of support throughout her leadership journey.
“My leadership journey with Wedu through ITL has pushed me to discover more than just my theoretical insight into leadership. I have been inspired and challenged to explore more within my Ikigai through practical resolutions, like forming a mentorship space in my community in Malawi.”
Wedu offers the Introduction to Leadership (ITL) course to all women, 18 years and above, who want to reach their full potential. Through a series of self-reflective exercises, participants find clarity on their priorities and come up with a concrete plan to reach their personal and professional goals.
With your help, more girl changemakers like Faith will be able to access the ITL. Give at bit.ly/investinherwedu and help support our world-shaping work.