Jenipher is one of EKARI’s 13 recent high school graduates. Her story is one of patience, hard work, and resilience. In 2015, Jenipher passed her senior year exam, but did not score high enough for acceptance to Malawi’s university system. While other organizations would have either ended their support at that time or supported Jenipher only at a trade school (which was not her goal), EKARI believed in Jenipher and supported her as she repeated her junior and senior years of high school. On her second try in 2017, she passed her exam and qualified for university! She is now applying to higher education institutions in Malawi with support from EKARI’s Higher Education Prep Program.
Our Computer Program provides a technology-based education to EKARI’s high school graduates while they await acceptance to higher education institutions. We open this program up to youth from the Phalombe community as well. This year 13 EKARI sponsored youth and 13 youth from the community participated. On November 30, EKARI hosted a ceremony to present completion certificates to the 26 participants. EKARI students completed follow-up training during the first two weeks of December. The next step in the evolution of our Computer Program is to partner with a computer college in order for EKARI’s participants to take an accredited exam and secure an endorsed certificate allowing for greater credibility at future job interviews!
EKARI recently hosted a cooking class in the Subiri Village, which is part of the Victory Garden Campaign and currently has over 125 kitchen gardens. With the start of the Victory Garden Campaign, we realized the importance of providing our beneficiaries with the knowledge and skills to prepare, process, and preserve nutritious foods using vegetables and fruit from their kitchen gardens. Through our Sustainable Livelihoods Program, a local nutritionist facilitated the class demonstrating how to make peanut butter, soy milk, lemon juice, sweet potato porridge, pumpkin porridge, and much more. We plan to conduct the cooking classes on a quarterly basis in the communities that will receive kitchen garden training.
We once again participated in GlobalGiving’s Year End Campaign. This year we raised funds to expand our efforts to provide life skills training to youth and adults in Malawi. Thanks to our generous supporters, we exceeded our year-end fundraising goal by raising $12,547 from 75 donors through GlobalGiving and EKARI’s website! On top of that, we received over $700 in matching funds on Giving Tuesday and placed 27 out of thousands of participants that day. With these funds we will provide life skills training allowing over 300 youth and adults the ability to identify and change their own learning patterns, ultimately increasing their problem solving skills and decreasing their dependence on EKARI.