We applied for our 501(c)3 tax exempt status from the IRS a year and a half ago in October 2012 and finally received our approval letter in late February. The EKARI Foundation is now an official 501(c)3 public charity! All contributions are tax deductible back to our incorporation date of September 14, 2009.
Flora’s father died in 2003. Flora’s mother is alive, but is unable to support Flora’s education due to lack of education herself and lack of sustained employment. Flora’s mother volunteers on our Malawi Board of Directors. EKARI has supported Flora since she was a high school sophomore. Flora graduated high school in 2012, participated in our University Coaching Program in early 2013, passed her university entrance exam, but was not accepted into Malawi’s universities due to lack of open spaces. She then participated in our Computer Program in late 2013 and again in our University Coaching Program in early 2014 and recently started her higher education at the Catholic University of Malawi to study Special Needs Education!
We are excited to announce the launch of our Adult Literacy Program in partnership with the Phalombe district government! Adult instructors – volunteers from the community where an adult literacy class will take place – participated in a two week orientation in February. A local government representative taught the instructors how to effectively teach the 3 R’s, organize a literacy class, appreciate the importance of literacy as a national development effort, and appreciate the spirit of volunteerism. Our Malawi In-Country Director prepared the instructors to teach about the importance of adults’ role in youth education, the empowerment of an entire community, and the difference between relief and development work.
As you know from our recent holiday giving campaign we are currently raising funds, through our Building Program, to build a community building in Phalombe. Construction costs total $60,000. EKARI is a finalist for a grant of $20,000 from a Seattle nonprofit. The grant is contingent upon EKARI raising $40,000. We have already raised $30,000, leaving $10,000 to raise by May 1. Please consider helping us reach our goal! $25 builds one square foot. Your name will be inscribed on a brick on our donor wall with a contribution of $100. Thank you to all who have already contributed to this cause. Click here to Donate.
UNESCO’s TeacherTuesday for February 25 was focused on an instructor from Malawi, Esnart, and the teacher shortages and other challenges facing teachers and students in Malawi that is putting student’s learning at risk. Malawi’s youth literacy rate in 2010 was only 77%. Esnart described how difficult it is to teach 200 children under a tree and stated that, “rural children are taught by teachers who are often demotivated due to poor working conditions, poor accommodation and from living in remote areas where they are unable to access healthcare and other social amenities.” Click here for an eye opening article stating that “Malawi has one of the world’s most dramatic teacher shortages.”