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
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
What education means to Alinafe: “Education is the act of gaining knowledge to transform our mind to start thinking for the better. It eventually helps us to live a better life and assist the need in the community we live.”
Family History: Alinafe is the second born in a family of six children. Both of her parents are alive, but they are subsistence farmers who did not receive an education and have a hard time affording to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for their children. Two of Alinafe’s siblings are in primary school, which is free in Malawi. Two siblings attend high schools with very low tuition fees, low quality education, and without boarding facilities forcing them to walk to school each day. This last sibling is in college with support from EKARI. 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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