EKARI is a community-based nonprofit tackling extreme poverty in Malawi, Africa, supporting education and economic community development.
To build knowledge and skills within youth and their surrounding communities so they can lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
Thriving youth and communities, free to determine their own future.
The number of people around the world living in extreme poverty, or surviving on less than $2 per day, is at the lowest levels in recorded human history. Despite this great progress, pockets of deep inequality persist around the world. Malawi’s Phalombe District is one such place. Phalombe sits within a region and country that has struggled to meet the basic needs–health, food, education, opportunity–for many of its citizens. The district is also home to a disproportionately high youth population.
EKARI works here, in an area of great need. The problems for youth in Phalombe are many: high school is not free; the education system is poorly equipped; and for those youth who make it to college, the prospects for employment are dismal and the cycle of poverty continues. Many adults in the area are subsistence farmers who did not receive an education, making it extremely difficult to earn a living. They do not have the resources to feed their children more than one meal a day, let alone provide the necessary resources and support in and outside the classroom to enable their children to achieve a quality education.
The HIV and AIDS epidemic has damaged the social fabric of entire communities, leaving many children in Malawi without parents and dependent on already strained extended family members who can provide little to no support.
Without EKARI, youth in Phalombe do not have access to tuition assistance. The local social welfare office is unreliable. Investment in the region by NGOs has focused primarily on community development with very little attention given to youth.
These conditions make it extremely difficult for youth to achieve their goals. Only 38% of Malawian youth start high school and only 1% continue onto a higher education, mainly due to lack of financial support and comprehensive support in and outside the classroom.
EKARI exists to fill these gaps. Across a number of strategic intervention points, we support both youth and their communities in accessing knowledge and opportunity.
EKARI’s approach is fully-integrated, long-term, and evolves as we learn.