Rose is 18 years old, and currently volunteering with SheRose. Her aspiration are to complete her law degree and specialise in Human Rights and the fight against injustice. Rose was asked to give an insight into her life experiences and how she believes education has had an impact in her life; and here is what she had to say: "I spent most of my childhood living in Thyolo. Growing up in a rural area had its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, I was able to experience and enjoy the nature; the peace and quietness. The other side of living in this rural area was my exposure to the extreme poverty in my country. Due to this poverty, I witnessed a lot of young people dropping out of s
chool due to their families not being able to pay school fees. I would pray regularly that this would not happen to me. I can attribute my passion for human rights to an experience I saw my friend go through when I lived in Thyolo. I had this friend who was a bit older than me, but we were in the same class. As friends, we obviously cared about each others wellbeing and what was going on. One day she came to school and appeared very sad. When I would ask her what was wrong, she refused to tell me and insisted nothing was wrong. As the days passed, she became worse; she looked so scared and sad. I explained to her that I was her friend and that she could trust me. She finally trusted me enough to tell me what has happened to her. I was filled with anger as she explained to me that a man, old enough to be her dad had forced her to sleep with him. The man had come from another district to do business in Thyolo, and was living in our village for a period of time. As I explain earlier, poverty was very evident in our community. So my friend explained that the man has asked her to help him with house work, in return for a payment; which she agreed, as the money could help not only her, but her family as well. While she was cleaning the house, the man come and force her to sleep with. She tried to scream but no one heard her, and the man threatened her if she continued to scream.
Hearing her experience, I didn't know how to help her since I was just a kid too. I tried to tell her to tell her parents about what had happened, but she said no because she was scared for her life and how her parents would take it. The man threaten to kill her if she told anyone. Seeing my friend hurting and scared really touched me. Not knowing what her life would be like after this, not knowing who she would now be. I felt so helpless it hurt me so much. But as time went by, she moved on with her life. Maybe talking to me had been a source of comfort. Unfortunately, she dropped out of school due to poverty and we lost contact. From this experience, I decided I wanted to study law and affect change in this area. I have seen a lot of girls suffering without reaching for help; I want to be that help. I want to help girls who are facing sexual abuse and those who are dropping out of school due to financial problems. Back then, I wasn't able to help my friend, but I can help other girls right now facing the same problems. For me, I believe education has allowed me to focus on my passion and learn the skills I need to work in this field. I too could have been a victim of my social surroundings, I could have ended up dropping out of school; but education has given me a platform for a future within a career I am passionate about. As a law student (although I have just started studying), I know I am interested in Human Rights. It's in Human rights where I find out that the only reason my friend was scared to reach for help was because she didn't know what Human rights are, her rights, what she is capable of, who she is, who she is in the eyes of law. This is the same case with a lot of girls in Malawi, especially in rural areas, they don't know their rights. This also applies to parents,they don't know their duties towards their daughters. They don't talk to their daughters about sexual life; as a result when the girls have a sexual related problem, they find it weird and shameful to speak to anyone about it.
As I further my education, my plan is to educate my fellow girls. Teach them human rights, who they are before the law, what they are capable of, their role as girls in Malawi and how they can help to end poverty, discrimination and sexual violence against women in Malawi. Tell them how the section 41 of the Malawi constitution explains that every person has a right to be recognised as a person before the law. They can reach out for help when they're in need without being scared. And also help those who aren't financially stable so that they shouldn't drop out of school. I am glad to be volunteering for SheRose and to be part of their work on educating girl in Malawi and trying to build a better Malawi. We can all make a difference. This is my way. You can also make a difference. You can help to change lives of girls in Malawi by contributing the little you have; whether it is financially, your resource or your time. You don't need millions to help, the little you have can completely change someones life.
Thank you. Here at SheRose, we believe in nurturing our volunteers; so they can develop into the great humanitarians we know they can be. We want to equip our volunteers, like Rose, with skills that will help them in future career. We will keep you updated on how Rose gets on throughout her volunteer journey with us.