Rhoda’s Story

Sudden Smile of Tears

“Can you stop crying Rhoda! I am saying you should stop crying! Don’t you know that in Phalombe there is the EKARI Foundation that supports needy students like you? Just go and meet Mr. Elias Makina who carefully listens to the cry of such kind of situations and I believe he will take care of you.” These were words from a concerned woman from my community who came to show me the right direction for my success. The woman spoke these words to me one week after I failed to get a person to support my secondary school fees. I had spent three days crying after having seen that my future was spoiled.

Prior to this event, I sat for my primary school examination and I was selected to St. Mary’s Girls Catholic Secondary School in Zomba and Stella Maris Girls Secondary School in Blantyre. I was in a dilemma when I saw myself loosing these chances because I failed to find support. By then my mother had nothing to give me and she even failed to provide me with soap or exercise books for my school.

During my primary school I met several challenges like lack of school uniform, soap, writing materials, exercise books, and school bag. In 8th grade, I was about to drop out of school because of lack of examination fees but at eleventh hour, I secured the job of carrying river sand from the river to someone’s house who was doing plastering work. The money I received was not even enough to pay examination fees. So in addition I went to the mountain to fetch some firewood for sale. This assisted me, but while completing these odd jobs, I spent two weeks away from school.

Early in the morning of the following day after getting news about the EKARI Foundation, my mother took me to Mr. Elias Makina to seek for educational support. Mr Makina cordially welcomed us and was very concerned with my situation but on the other hand was so happy with my intelligence. He assured me that he would try to create a space just for me though there wasn’t room for any student to receive support at that time. It was like a dream after two days to see Mr Makina coming to my home with school uniform, groceries, and other extra clothes for my school since I only had one dress and one blouse and no shoes or skirt. He told me to pack my belongings and leave for Stella Maris in Blantyre.

I now find life bearable due to the assistance I receive from the EKARI Foundation for my education. People from my community admire me because I am pursuing my education. This makes me work extra hard at school in order to be a role model for my community as well as for the EKARI Foundation. My goal is to complete college and it is my prayer that God keeps me alive so that I should achieve what I am aiming for.

I humbly thank the EKARI Foundation for the assistance they have provided me and my family. I warmly request the assistance to continue.

Rhoda – Stella Maris Girls Secondary School