Blessings T.

School: University studying for Bachelor of Public Health (started Feb 2018)

School Location: Livingstonia, Malawi

Length of bus ride from Blessings’s home to school: 8 hours

# of bus rides from home to school: 4 (He travels between home and school only during school breaks – about 4 times a year)

Birthday: February 27, 1992

Hobby: Playing soccer, especially goalkeeping

Favorite school subject: Human anatomy

Favorite song: Local Malawian music

Favorite book: Macbeth

Helps at home by: Farming

What education means to Blessings: “Education means understanding things through learning in order to change one’s mentality (and those from the community) from ignorant to knowledgeable.”

Family History: Blessings is the eldest in a family of five children. His mother and father divorced when Blessings was seven and his father no longer supports the family. His mother is a subsistence farmer who did not receive an education and cannot afford to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for her children. Two of his siblings are in primary school, which is free in Malawi. His other two siblings are married and did not complete their education. EKARI supported Blessings through high school and, with your help, will support his higher education!

Life in Phalombe: Blessings 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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