Tiwale inspires and empowers young women


Tiwale is an organization that helps women in Malawi become empowered and start their own business so they can become successful. Ellen Chilemba, a 21-year-old student at Mount Holyoke College, is the founder of this organization. Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries, and according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, 74 percent of the Malawian population lives below the income poverty line of US $1.25 a day. Many children in Malawi drop out of school between the ages of 12 and 15 because secondary school costs money and they can’t afford to pay.
Many girls are married off at a young age for a dowry. Tiwale helps provide education so these young girls can start their own busineses. The money they earn from their work helps with their necessities and education. Tiwale—which means “Let’s glow” in Chichewa—aims “to be the light to guide women toward realizing their purpose and goals,” Chilemba explained. “Our main idea is to empower women.”
Chilemba was born in Malawi and lived there all her life until she came to South Hadley for her freshman year at Mount Holyoke, right down the road from the high school.
Chilemba said she considered herself one of the lucky ones because both of her parents had a job so they could provide for their kids.
“Growing up in Malawi is not only different physically but everyone in Malawi is more family orientated. Here everyone is very focused on themselves,” Chilemba said.
She said that people in the United States are very fortunate and because of this, they tend to focus on themselves and improving themselves instead of improving others. People in the United States have technology to communicate with each other but the technology also detaches families. Despite these challenges, Tiwale has been successful in providing for women and helping them get the money they need to survive.


Visit Chilemba’s website at http://tiwaleproject.wix.com/tiwalecbo