I have told my friends from the club about my dreams of becoming a policewoman in order to support my family and serve the community. They encourage me to keep pursuing my studies.
– Rhoda Masache
Rhoda Masache didn’t have an easy road back to school.
She got pregnant at age 12, got married and had to drop out, gave birth to two children within three years and, before long, moved back home to her parents as her marriage dissolved.
Rhoda felt hopeless until 2016, when the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ One Community project in Malawi recruited her into a Go! Girls Club designed to teach young women between the ages of 15 and 19 how to protect themselves from HIV and to live successful lives.
At the club, Rhoda was particularly inspired by the story of a girl like her who overcame multiple challenges and went back to school. Eventually, Rhoda also found the courage to re-enroll in school – five years after dropping out.
Her return to school was tumultuous. She was bullied because her first-born was a first grader at the same school she attended.
But Rhoda remains determined to be the first in her family to reach secondary school – and to be a role model for her children.
“I have told my friends from the club about my dreams of becoming a policewoman in order to support my family and serve the community,” Rhoda says. “They encourage me to keep pursuing my studies.”