The EKARI teams in Malawi, Seattle, and Germany have talked much about sustainability. Sustainability for nonprofits or non-government organizations is more commonly thought of as a long term plan for mission fulfillment. So what exactly does that mean? It means current financial stability, financial forecasting, planning for leadership succession, strategic planning, and adapting to both external and internal environments.
Placing EKARI Foundation into the sustainable contextual setting seems relatively easy given our vision, mission, and logo, each of which reflect our dedication to sustainable livelihoods.
EKARI’s mission is “educating Malawians toward self-dependency”. As part of our mission we consider each one of our children and their families as our own – a lifelong commitment has been made to empowering Malawian communities towards leading self-sustaining lives filled with dignity and self-worth. By the end of 2020, our goal is to increase the high school graduation rate among the students we support to 90 percent and to improve the livelihoods of the households we support by 100 percent.
We continue to work and to reach many milestones and because of you (our constituents), we have seen great strides towards our sustainability statement and mission fulfillment. We want to share with you how your support impacts our sustainability model, the students, families, and their communities. We can happily report that our effectiveness rate is currently at 93%.
Part of EKARI Foundation’s unique sustainability model is focused on addressing the individual needs of our children, their families, and communities. In 2015, with your donations we were able to support 3,848 youth, including young people from the Phalombe district whom we work with outside of the classroom. Additionally, through our programs, we were able to support 300 adults in the community. This is incredible progress towards our sustainable livelihoods centered model and programming. There are, however, uncontrollable external environments which affect the impact of our programs.
On April 13, 2016, Malawi declared a state of emergency and disaster due to a food shortage caused by severe droughts spreading through Malawi and much of Southern Africa. In April, the government of Malawi estimated that 2.8 million Malawians faced food insecurity, which makes Malawi the number one country affected by food insecurity and drought. Severe food insecurity outcomes are expected to persist in 24 out of the 28 districts in Malawi through March 2017. These drought and food insecurity levels are the worst that Malawi has experienced in 35 years.
EKARI Foundation as part of its Sustainable Livelihoods programming already had in place its Three Meals a Day Program. Even before the food insecurity and famine crises happening right now in Malawi, many Malawians were already not able to eat three meals a day and already suffered from hunger and malnutrition due to extreme poverty and lacked access to meal programs.
Our Three Meals a Day Program was established in 2010 to provide students supported by EKARI Foundation with three nutritional meals a day. The three meals are based on Malawi’s Six Food Group guidelines. We also employ local members of the community to cook the meals. Our goal is that students supported by EKARI Foundation will be free from malnutrition and hunger, thus enabling them to continue their educational endeavors. Since 2010 our students report that the meal program has allowed them to concentrate better and has improved their overall feeling of well-being.
Once again, we can only do what we do through you and we are immensely grateful! You should know your generosity is actively aiding the lives of Malawians. We are sustainable because of YOU!
With Much Gratitude,
U.S. Board of Directors and Director of Development for EKARI Foundation
For more information on the food famine and food crisis in Malawi visit (these news articles are also used references for this blog):
International Business Times – http://www.ibtimes.com/malawi-declares-state-disaster-over-food-crisis-drought-linked-el-nino-2353800