Chikondi Lunguzi Njawala
Using a pen is like healing a wound. It ends my worries. One day I will change the lives of other girls.
Mphatso is a 17-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a journalist. Since she is the first-born in her family, her parents will soon rely on her to support them. Mphatso spent her last two years of secondary school caring for her siblings while her parents went to the village to farm in support of their children’s education. It was not easy for Mphatso to look after her siblings while studying. She cooked breakfast for them before school and kept their home tidy at all times to avoid diseases.
As a volunteer, Mphatso is learning to sew cloth menstrual pads and how to use a computer. She assists with the Writing Clubs and enjoys sharing her story of how participating in the Club helped her to stay in school and make good choices. She feels excited about women’s empowerment and works hard because her future depends on it. Her prayer is to attend University.
It is exciting to see girls I mentor begin to believe in themselves, have a voice, understand they are all unique, and above all, develop leadership skills.
Chikondi never thought she would be leading young girls in creative writing workshops. When the opportunity arrived in 2015, she hesitated. This type of leadership role was out of her comfort zone. On the other hand, Chikondi knew all she needed was to have a positive attitude to achieve her passion. She knew the bottom line was to do what she has always wanted to do; work with girls.
Passionate about girl’s education, child sponsorship, and feeding programs, Chikondi always wanted to be part of the girl child movement. She knew she would do anything to prevent a girl from becoming a child bride. She truly believes girls have the power to lead and change the world.
Her main achievement is to see VoiceFlame taking shape, knowing that she has been a part of the growth of this organization.
I believe that with a pen and copy, I can bring hope in every woman’s heart.
Gladys is 17 years old and dreams of becoming a nurse. She took it as a golden chance to be a VoiceFlame member. As a girl child, she feels she deserves to be empowered. VoiceFlame inspired her through the Amherst Writers & Artists method to be a creative and confident girl, and to use her imagination to create stories and poems. She discovered that she has a strong, unique voice and that she can stand and change the lives of people, especially girls and women.
She believes that the nation of Malawi will be built through the hearts of the people because the heart responds before the hands react. Furthermore, she believes that the hands fail to hold love, peace, and unity while the heart holds them all. She is proud to be a VoiceFlame member and to give back to the next group of girls who are learning to write with confidence.