School Location: Livingstonia, Malawi
Length of bus ride from Linley’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: December 29, 2000
Hobby: Reading novels
Favorite school subject: Biology
Favorite song: All songs by Michael Smith
Favorite book: Novels like Poverty in the Land of Plenty
Helps at home by: Farming and fetching firewood
What education means to Linley: “Education will help me to become independent and think logically.”
Family History: Linley is the oldest in a family of three children. Her father is deceased. Her mother 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. Her younger siblings are in primary school, which is free in Malawi. EKARI supported Linley through high school and, with your help, will support her higher education!
Life in Phalombe: Linley 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.