At less than 20 years of age, Harriet, Thandie and Mpoka have already experienced the weight of life we can all feel sometimes. For them, because of poverty, life got very difficult, very early. Each has 2 children, each had their first child before their 15th birthday.

Child marriages are against the law in Malawi, but they are not uncommon. Generally arranged by parents, they are driven by a lack of hope, ignorance, and a presence of fear. Early marriage not only ended their innocence, it opened the door to motherhood, domestic abuse, health challenges, and a life of few options. It closed the door to education, personal achievement, and opportunity.

Yet, God provides hope. Child marriages are on the decline in Malawi. Education is having an impact! No longer married, Harriet, Thandie and Mpoka are now engaged with a local Youth Club. Each will soon be enrolled in the new Vocational Training Program to be fully launched in the next few months. At a recent Youth Club meeting, the girls spoke to other youth about what they have been through and the hope they now have. Thandie shared, “God has revived our hope, we were abused but not destroyed, we can still do something in life.”