Meet Khadijah, 17, your new favorite poet.
Khadijah, 17, can seem shy when you first meet her. Her voice is soft, often trailing off to a delicate whisper at the end of a sentence, and she is likely to cast her gaze downward when responding to a question.
But ask Khadijah to share her poetry and she will immediately light up. No longer shy, Khadijah will draw her shoulders back and look you directly in the eye as she speaks. She dreams of being a world-famous poet someday.
Khadijah is a part of the United Nations Joint Program for Adolescent Girls (JPAG) in Malawi. A partnership of UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and UNESCO, the JPAG provides girls in Malawi – including Khadijah – access to education, vocational skills training, and protection from violence.
To understand how difficult it is for a girl like Khadijah to reach this level in her schooling, consider the facts: In Malawi, more than half of all girls are married by the age of 18, often requiring them to drop out of school and abandon their studies. According to UNESCO, only 28.7% of girls are enrolled in secondary school.
Today we honor Khadijah as a #GIRLHERO. In the lead up to International Day of the Girl, October 11, share your #GIRLHERO and join Girl Up's movement to light up social media feeds with stories of girl power. Learn more at GirlUp.org/GIRLHERO.
Pictures of Khadijah and her poetry:
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