Y-Malawi runs a program called Mother Groups that is composed of older women from villages in Malawi. They are assembled towards the purpose of aiding younger women and girls by counseling and educating them on various subjects about life, including taboo topics many people don’t discuss. These women also look out for girls in troubling situations in order to do what they can to help them. 

As such, when a Mother Group learned that a young girl, Flora, had been sold into marriage by her parents, they immediately responded in trying to rescue her. Flora was 13 when she’d been forced into a marriage with a 36 year old man. Along with his two other wives, she looked after him and the household by bathing him, cooking meals, cleaning, and caring for the children. Before long, Flora became pregnant, adding to the difficulties she was already facing. It was at this point that Y-Malawi was alerted and one of the Mother Groups intervened. 

The Mother Group presented Flora’s case before the village chief and then approached the local pastor for help. They both agreed that Flora was too young to be married and joined the effort to rescue her. Because the man had paid Flora’s parents for her hand in marriage, he refused to let her go unless his payment was returned. So with the help of these two figures of authority, the Mother Group convinced Flora’s parents to return the payment, and Flora was taken out of the marriage. 

Now at 14 years old, Flora is a mother as well as a student. With the help of Y-Malawi, she has returned to school and is currently doing well. Y-Malawi provides her housing, food, school supplies and pays her tuition. Recently, when visited by a mission trip team, Flora testified that in the midst of her hopelessness, the Y-Malawi Mother Group saved her, renewing her hope and happiness. She went on to say “I had never known love. I could not believe that these people would care for me and my child. My life has now changed. I know what love is. When I graduate school, my dream is to help others in the same way that the Mother Group has helped me.”

Flora is 1 of over 600 girls that Y-Malawi’s teams and groups have rescued from similar situations over the past 8 years. These groups are providing education, resources, and encouragement to more than 1,500 young girls who have had children through childhood marriages or abuse. Through programs such as the Mother Groups, these girls are being given a new hope and a better chance at life. 

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