This four minute listen from “All Things Considered” discusses how the lack of school due to COVID-19 has affected students – primarily girls – in Malawi. In “Girls, Has The Pandemic Made You Think Of Quitting School? Call Your Mentor,” Eliza Chikoti, a mentor who works for an international organization that supports girls’ education shares her recent interaction with a former student. Chikoti shares that this student was “a bright 15-year old girl who always got good grades,” but, because of the pandemic, she was planning on getting married instead. Schools in Malawi have been closed since the pandemic hit there, in early May 2020, and there are no immediate plans to reopen them. Chikoti was discouraged by this student’s message and asked the student why she was “opting” into marriage. The student shared that she lived in a house with six people, including her grandparents, and her family was struggling to put food on the table. She hoped that if she got married, she would be able to help support her family. Malawi is known to have one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world – more than 40% of girls marry before they are 18. When they get married, they often drop out of school. However, Chikoti was able to discourage this student from getting married and instead, as her mentor, worked to help her.