Merci is 24 years old and is from Zomba; she stays with her older sister. She is a second year student at university studying information technology. Before the pandemic, when she was not studying or working as a TEGA, she would be cooking, chatting with her friends, or using her phone for things like Facebook. She notes that her education has been significantly affected because she is not able to buy enough data to study online.

“For girls in my community, I think what they need to help them through the pandemic are… One – they need something that can keep them busy. This can either be, if the girl has completed school or reached secondary school level but not yet in college, they should learn trade skills, they should wrestle with that. They can learn either sewing or welding or bricklaying. They can be working on such things unlike just staying at home where they’ll only be thinking about dating which can put them in danger of getting STIs or even pregnant even though some have already fallen pregnant…you see?”