Drivers of Change Awards Civil Society

Girls Arise for Change promotes girls’ education and health by ending cultural and social cultural practices that hinder girls’ and women’s development in Malawi

Girls Arise for Change promotes girls’ education and health by ending cultural and social cultural practices that hinder girls’ and women’s development in Malawi

The project Girls Arise for Change was established by a victim of gender abuse influenced by cultural beliefs that undervalue women’s potential. She was raped at the age of 16 by her mentor as she pursued a career in engineering; she was accused of taking up a career “meant for men”. The project works to promote girls’ education and health by ending cultural and social cultural practices that hinder girls’ and women’s development in Malawi. It works with girls and young women from remote areas of Malawi who are subjected to various abuses including: being forced to drop out of school and married so that they can bring money in for their parents; adolescent girls who are forced to undergo “sexual cleansing”; girls trafficked to become commercial workers and those who are raped.

Realising that poverty in Malawi is very high and is helping to maintain cultural practices that harm girls, the project empowers girls with financial earning skills such as fashion designing, tailoring and painting. Arise provides some start-up capital, which they can use to start small businesses that can help them support their education and livelihood so that they can say no to forced marriages, trafficking and rape.

Vumelana Advisory Fund NPC (RF) ( WINNER )

Vumelana was established in 2012 to help communities that are beneficiaries of the land reform programme in South Africa develop their land by funding advisory services that structure commercially viable partnerships between communities and commercial investors to create income, jobs and skills. To date Vumelana has supported 15 investment partnerships (on about 70 000 hectares of land) for 12 communities that have the potential of attracting about R580-million worth of investment, creating or saving about 1 000 jobs. Some of the projects include South East Cluster Agri and Thornybush Nature Reserve Tourism Projects, both for the Moletele community (Limpopo); Umgano Saw Mill Project for the Mabandla Community Development Trust (KwaZulu-Natal), Madikwe Game Reserve Tourism Projects (Phase I & II) for the Barokologadi community (North West), the Khomani San Auob Tourism Project (Northern Cape) and the Mmamahlola Agri Project (Limpopo).

An additional 16 projects are currently being supported and are in various stages of being concluded; their successful conclusion have the potential to create an additional 
6 000 jobs. In 2014 Vumelana launched the Vumelana Governance Award, which rewards and encourages good governance practices by communal land holding entities, and awarded R1.2-million of prize money to seven communal land holding entities.