A safe space and powerful peer support movement helping girls overcome the trauma of sexual abuse & protecting others from becoming victims


We provide girls with emotional, practical and vocational training which enables them to develop the confidence, self-assurance and skills needed to become economically independent young adults.

In Malawi a devastating 50% of the girls we surveyed and who work in the sex industry are under the age of consent and school-age children. Girls are prevented from going to school, kept as slaves and trafficked into prostitution abroad. Drug and alcohol abuse, violence, sexually transmitted disease and underage pregnancy are highly prevalent.


Our Pioneers of Change community centre is a safe space for girls and young women. The Pioneers Foundation Course is designed to help girls develop their confidence and self worth, and facilitate personal growth. In weekly workshops they learn about their rights, sexual risk-management, physical /sexual health and essential life skills such as decision making, planning, sexual assertiveness, effectiveness etc.

Girls are offered access to healthcare, as well as HIV and STD screening and we provide counselling to girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse (services such as counselling are not widely available in Malawi.)

The Pioneers Support Networks are making the lives of young girls and women in townships around Lilongwe safer.
Now if one of them is threatened often up to 40 girls and women will group together to confront abusers, call in help from police, families and the wider community. Advocacy -their collective presence and pressure- has become a powerful way for girls to keep each other safe.
Thelma Tholani, Pioneers for Change Project Leader


Vulnerable girls often do not recognise abuse or grooming approaches as such, and often blame themselves. They do not know that they have rights or simply don't know where to go and ask for help. At Pioneers of Change girls learn how to recognise inappropriate behaviour, learn what to do when approached and where to find help and how to access support. 

Through sporting events and fellowship activities we enable girls and young women to form strong peer support networks, empowering them to stand up and advocate for each other.

These activities are specifically targeted at supporting those girls who are either engaged in -or are at risk of becoming involved in- child prostitution, girls who have been trafficked, or have been subject to abuse. 


We passionately believe that working with girls and young women is only one side of the coin. In order to create a safer environment for girls and women on the whole, we work closely with families, primary schools, communities, the police, courts and civil society.


We run regular workshops and events in townships in and around Lilongwe, raising awareness about risks of sexual abuse, trafficking and child marriage, as well as girl's and women's rights, aiming to change mindsets and establishing respect for girls & women in society.

Pioneers of Change is a growing movement with more and more girls and communities getting involved all the time.


After having completed the Foundation programme girls can move on to the Enterprise Course which prepares them for economic independence.

Girls are supported to explore and develop ideas which will enable them to generate income and are taught vocational skills with a range of choices. On completion of this programme each young woman receives a complete start-up kit, including a finance plan, for her business.

Younger girls are supported back into primary education.

Since 2016 we have rescued 648 girls from trafficking.


775 girls have successfully completed the Pioneers of Change Enterprise programme.

Our anti-trafficking, sexual health and girl's rights campaigns, community initiatives and workshops have reached over 3865 family and community members.


By the time a girl/young woman has completed the Pioneers of Change programme she will be more confident, be well informed and part of a strong support network. Some, particularly those with children of their own, will become  economically independent, often even able to support her wider family.

The outstanding work of our Pioneers of Change team was recognised in December 2019 with an AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE issued by the Ministry of Homeland Security and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).



A highly successful rehabilitation centre and powerful learning environment for children and young men turning prison sentences into an powerful, inspiring & life-changing learning experience and foundation for a successful future 

Alternative to Custody changes the trajectory of young boys' and men's lives - from crime and hopelessness to becoming confident, successful and inspiring young leaders in their communities.

Prison life is extremely difficult in Malawi. Children and young men routinely serve custodial sentences in under-resourced and overcrowded prisons, where conditions such as lack of adequate sanitation, overcrowding, poor nutrition and risk of diseases such as HIV can be commonplace. Children in adult prisons are particularly at risk.




At arrival at our residential centre in Lilongwe we assess each boy's specific needs in terms of their emotional, psycho-social and physical wellbeing and identify specific areas for learning for each individual.

Boys and young men also receive (often for the first time) access to quality healthcare, as well screening for communicable diseases and STIs such as HIV. We provide healthy nutrition and a therapeutic diet where necessary, as well as opportunities for physical exercise, sexual, emotional, physical health education and counselling.


We enable young boys and men to reflect on and understand the behaviours that have led them into crime. Through Cognitive Behavioural training they learn how to make positive and effective choices, and our Advantaged Thinking approach enables them to use their talents and abilities to the best effects.

In addition programme participants receive education and training in a vocation of their choice. Focus is placed on experiential learning to ensure long-term retention.

Towards the end of their programme, participants take part in enterprise training to focus their specific business idea. They receive a complete tool kit for their business and leave with a concrete income generation plan.


By the time they return to their communities they have acquired the skills needed to live successful and productive lives free from offending.



​Due to stigma families and communities are often reluctant to accept young offenders back into their communities.

The Chance For Change Reintegration Team mediates between families, communities, victims and participants to ensure successful reintegration. We help communities to recognise that the young man who returns to them is a different person with new skills who has much to offer.

We follow up on each young person's progress within their communities, ensuring they have settled and provide continued support if needed.



Awareness campaigns and advocacy have reached 10,126 people.


6,040 have been indirect beneficiaries in families and communities.


Since 2012 our legal team has enabled 242 children to avoid time in prison.


941 Participants have taken part in Criminal Justice Programme. 555 have successfully trained in enterprise.





Innovative personal development programmes, youth advocacy activities & informal education addressing Health and  Wellbeing, Youth Unemployment & Risk of Involvement in Crime




Rites of Passage operated between 2012-18. Its workshops, courses and campaigns have involved more than 13.000 young people in Malawi.

796 young people have become economically active and independent.

4,338 have taken part in our educational health and wellbeing campaigns.


1,037 young people have become involved in advocacy. 


9,572 have participated in increased awareness campaigns of human rights.

31,591 members of the wider community have benefitted. 

Rites of Passage enables young people to make positive choices & stay safe, find employment and become active ambassadors of positive change in their communities.

Rites of Passage works with young people in townships in Lilongwe where high youth unemployment and poverty is putting young people at risk of becoming involved in crime and risk of STIs such as HIV is threatening lives.

Our initiatives provide informal education, raise awareness about drugs and alcohol, sexual/mental health and youth advocacy. Our local economy enterprise development​ courses enable young people to become successful entrepreneurs.




PIONEERS OF CHANGE team receives AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE issued by the Ministry of Homeland Security and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

We are proud to announce that the work of our PIONEERS FOR CHANGE TEAM has received an AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE.


The award recognises Chance For Change's outstanding and highly effective work in response to the trafficking of young girls and women.

It particularly acknowledges our work with school-age girls and the team’s highly effective activities such as awareness-raising campaigns, dialogue with community leaders, and collaborations with local schools and the police.


This award establishes CHANCE FOR CHANGE as a prominent member of the anti-trafficking coalitions and networks in Malawi.

20.December 2019

Pioneers of Change Day Out in Malingunde

A great day out for 73 girls, packed with fun activities, games, self-reflection activities and sight-seeing. The trip enhanced the girl's sense of belonging and was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to interact in a different environment, get to know each other better and helped the participants to bond with facilitators and develop trust.

22 June 2019 

Pioneers of Change Football Team


Pioneers of Change have now got their own all female football team, ‘The Pioneers’, consisting of 23 players. Football has become very popular and is having a big positive impact on the girls' confidence levels, self-worth and team building skills.


Girls Lead The Way - Raising awareness about sex trafficking

76 school girls gathered in Lilongwe and climbed a mountain raising awareness about the risks of school age girls being trafficked, coerced into sex work and other forms of sexual abuse and exploitation.

This great day was a wonderful opportunity to develop and strengthen bonds and trust amongst the girls and with our facilitators.

Global Forgiveness Day

Since 2016 we have run an annual Global Forgiveness Day Campaign with focus on the reintegration of young people who have been to prison. Due to stigma attached to having been to prison young men and boys are often not accepted back into their communities. The events raised awareness on the importance of forgiving young people who have been in prison, and giving them a chance to return and start their lives afresh in their communities, opening the door to new and positive futures.

Rocket Wood - Sustainable Firewood Project

This project addresses the critical problem of deforestation caused by wood being cut down for fuel. As part of a new C4C project, young Malawians are developing and innovating new local solutions. Working in partnership with local farmers, and employing local young people as business leaders, local firewood is now grown sustainably and delivered directly to the local community.

Oct 6, 2016

Dzaleka Enterprise - Training For A Future in Malawi's Largest Refugee Camp 

Malawian law currently does not allow refugees to find employment outside the refugee camp. Our team developed and delivered a six-week enterprise-training programme specifically for refugees in Dzaleka, designed to support and enable them to develop small businesses and enterprises within camp. Young people learnt how to identify opportunities within their situation, how to plan and set up a business and manage risks. This programme has been met with impressive enthusiasm and commitment.

Jul 5, 2017

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Chance for Change, established in 2011, is a UK registered not-for-profit organisation.

Registered Charity SC041351