Alinafe M.

School: University studying for Bachelors in Nursing and Midwifery (started Feb 2018)

School Location: Blantyre, Malawi

Length of bus ride from Alinafe’s home to school: 2 hours

Number of bus rides from home to school: 3 (She travels between home and school only during school breaks – about 4 times a year.)

Birthday: August 16, 1999

Hobby: Singing

Favorite school subject: Human anatomy and physiology, human nutrition, psychology

Favorite song: Excess Love by Mercy Chinwe

Favorite book: I Still Can’t Believe I’m Alive

Helps at home by: Farming and teaching other siblings

 

Family History: Alinafe is the third born in a family of six children. She helps her parents care for and teach her younger siblings. Both of her parents are alive, but they are subsistence farmers who did not receive an education and cannot afford to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for their children. Two of Alinafe’s siblings are in primary school (primary school is free in Malawi), two are in high school, and one is in college. With your support, Alinafe will be able to continue her education.

Life in Phalombe: Alinafe is from an extremely poor rural area in the Phalombe District of Malawi. The HIV and AIDS epidemic has damaged the social fabric of entire communities, leaving many children in Malawi without parents. Many families live in small houses made of mud or bricks, with grass thatch or tin roofs, no windows or doors, no electricity or plumbing, and most sleep on the floor without a mat or blanket. A typical diet consists of maize (corn) and sometimes beans and root vegetables. Most family members eat only one meal a day. Families are largely dependent on agriculture for their daily food and income (if they are lucky). Primary education in Malawi is free, but secondary and higher education is not. Therefore, most families are not able to support their children’s education past primary school (8th grade). Those families who can find a way to pay school fees generally can only afford to send their children to community day high schools – schools without electricity or boarding facilities. Most children attending community day high schools walk hours to and from school each day or rent a room at a nearby home, becoming servants of the home – leaving no time for homework. At EKARI, we do everything possible so that the students we support can attend boarding schools allowing them to focus on their education.      

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