School: Currently applying to Malawi universities
School Location: NA
Length of bus ride from Chisomo’s home to school: NA
Number of bus rides from home to school: NA
Birthday: April 16, 2000
Favorite school subject: English
Favorite song: DJ May and Hill
Favorite book: Mighty Man of War by Jimmy Psalmist
Helps at home by: Farming, fetching water and firewood
What education means to Chisomo: “My intent is to make an impact on my own life as well as that of my family and community… and to help people who are in poverty, are aged, and those with physical disabilities.”
Her teachers say: “She always performs well!”
Family History: Chisomo is the oldest of three children. Her two younger siblings are in primary school – primary school is free in Malawi. Her father is deceased. Chisomo’s mother and uncle raise the children. Both are subsistence farmers who did not receive an education and cannot afford to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for the children. As the oldest in her family, Chisomo takes on a lot of household responsibility by farming and fetching water and firewood when she is home from school. EKARI supported Chisomo through high school and, with your help, will support her higher education!
Life in Phalombe: Chisomo 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.