School: University studying for Bachelor of Food and Nutrition (started Feb 2018)
School Location: Livingstonia, Malawi
Length of bus ride from Linda’s home to school: 8 hours
# of bus rides from home to school: 4 (She travels between home and school only during school breaks – about 4 times a year)
Birthday: October 28, 2000
Hobby: Reading novels
Favorite school subject: Physical science
Favorite song: Malawian gospel music
Favorite book: Excel and Succeed (Biology)
Helps at home by: Cooking and fetching firewood
What education means to Linda: “Learning to gain knowledge that will help us in the future to be independent.”
Family History: Linda is the third oldest in a family of five children. Linda lost her father when she was three years old. Her mom is a subsistence farmer who did not receive an education and cannot afford to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for the children. Two of her siblings are in primary school, which is free in Malawi. Her other two siblings are married, did not complete their education, and focus on farming. EKARI supported Linda through high school and, with your help, will support her higher education!
Life in Phalombe: Linda 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.