We believe that every person, at any age, has the right to an education whether that is in a school classroom at the age of 15 learning math or in a garden at the age of 50 receiving agricultural training.
Founded in September 2009, EKARI Foundation is a grassroots, community-based, nonprofit organization tackling extreme poverty in rural communities in the Phalombe district of Malawi in sub-saharan Africa. We focus on three areas of development; youth education, adult literacy, and sustainable livelihoods (otherwise referred to as economic community development). Across all three areas of work, we provide access to the educational training and resources required for our beneficiaries to obtain a job or become an entrepreneur and become self-reliant.
We believe in a comprehensive approach.
Through our innovative and comprehensive long-term programs (not short-term projects) we not only support youth with tuition, but also provide support outside of the classroom through our Complementary Student Programs. Adults learn not only to read and write, but also about relevant issues such as personal hygiene, sanitation, and finances. Community cooperatives receive not only training, but the resources and follow-up monitoring to ensure their businesses succeed.
Lack of education contributes to the cycle of poverty while poverty acts as a great barrier to accessing an education.
Youth and adults in Phalombe yearn for an education. But, approximately only 26 percent of youth in Malawi complete primary school, only 18 percent go onto secondary school, and only 1 percent go onto college mainly due to financial instability caused by extreme poverty. Primary school education in Malawi is free, but there is NO access to a free secondary school education. The Malawi government instituted a nationwide adult literacy program, but lacks funding to operate the program to its full capacity and illiteracy rates among adults remain high. Those we work with have the willingness to work hard; they can take the step out of extreme poverty on their own, but simply need access to the resources and training to do so. That is where EKARI comes in.