Agogo. In Chichewa it means grandmother. It is a title of respect for someone held in high regard. The Agogo in the photo above is a member of a Mother Group. Not only is she an Agogo, but as a Mother Group member she counsels and helps younger girls to know more about life, their bodies, and sex. These are topics of discussion that are often taboo in the village. Yet, they are so important for young girls to know about.
During 2021 this Agogo decided that God was calling her to learn how to sew. Not so she could make shirts and dresses, but so that she could learn how to make reusable sanitary kits for girls. She reasoned that if she could learn, she could teach others in her Mother Group how to make them too. These kits make all the difference in the world for a girl trying to go to school. Without them it is virtually impossible for a girl to attend school during her monthly cycle. This means girls only get to attend school 3 weeks out of every month. If you carry that out over 4 years of high school, girls only get to attend 3 of those 4 years! This is a major reason that only 3% of girls graduate high school in Malawi.
People, even other Agogo’s told her she was crazy. They said she was wasting her time and that she was being foolish. She enrolled in Y-Malawi’s Vocational Training School anyway. She was by far the oldest student. It was not easy. At first the other students couldn’t understand why she was there. But then things began to change.
She came early every day. She was the last one to leave every day. She worked hard, and even through she had trouble seeing with those Agogo eyes, her work was exceptional. The instructors, and even the other students noticed. They started asking her for help and coaching. Encouraged by this, Agogo decided she could do even more, so she started bringing and preparing meals for students and staff. Now she wasn’t just coaching them on sewing, she began to coach them on life.
In the end, on graduation day, Agogo graduated at the top of her class. The other students had become more than classmates. They had become like family. They looked out for her. They gave her a special place to sit on graduation day to protect her from the hot sun. As a class, they even gave her a special award, just to say thank you for all that she had done for them.
Think there is nothing more you can do with your life? Think again. Agogo is proof that God can use us at any age. God can and wants to use you! Will you surrender your life to let Him?