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Malawi: returning to school

Christina Boveni is 18 and comes from a family of six children in Nsanje, Malawi. After a difficult time she has recently returned to education with the help of Concern Worldwide’s community training.

Leaving school 

Christina lives in Pangeti village, where she used to attend Chilumba school. When she was in class six, she found out she was pregnant. Soon afterwards, she was dismissed from school and she married the father of her baby, a boy in the class ahead of her. 

Married life 

Christina moved in with the father of her baby and his parents. Things were not easy; there were lots of arguments in their married life and there was a shortage of basic necessities like food, soap and clothing. After eight months, Christina gave birth but tragically her baby died the same day.  

A new start

Bravely, Christina called her parents-in-law and her own parents and told them that she wanted a divorce so she could return to her family home and continue her education. She moved back to her village to make a new start. At first, Christina’s parents were afraid that if she went back to school, she would be treated badly by her fellow students because of what had happened. Later on though, they received a visit from the village development committee.

Community meetings  

Concern had been training the committee in how to deal with issues affecting the community.  One issue they discussed was the lack of girls in the local school and they spoke to the head teacher about this. After the meetings the head teacher agreed that if Christina came back to school she would protect her from being discriminated against. So, Christina was able to go back to school.  

Back at school

Christina is now in class eight and is doing very well at school. She would like to continue with her education and become a nurse. She’s also encouraging other girls in her community to avoid early marriages and continue their education instead.

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