There an estimated 131,000 people living in modern slavery in Malawi (GSI 2018). According to Girls Not Brides, one out of every two girls in Malawi will be married by her eighteenth birthday.
Elina was forced to marry at 15 years old.
I was forced to marry when I was 15. I do not know how old my husband was when I married him, but he was old and I was a child.
When my parents died, my aunt took care of me and helped me with my education. But after a short while she told me she couldn’t help me because her own children were also going to school. A man who was already married asked my aunt if he could marry me. I tried to resist, but to no avail.
Family life was very hard for me. He was cruel. He often beat me.
My son is 4 years old and his name is Tamandani. At the moment I live quite a hard life because I receive little money. I’m not happy because I lack things I need in life. I am unable to take care of myself and my son. It has been my dream since I was young to be a journalist. I really admire when they speak on the radio. I am really envious of how they visit different places to tell stories. I still dream of the job I’ve wanted for a long time. It is my dream to be an empowered woman.
Narrative and image provided by Girls Not Brides. Original video ‘The Child Within’ by Camfed.