Length of bus ride from Obed’s home to school: 3 hours
Number of bus rides from home to school: 3 (He travels between home and school only during school breaks – about 4 times a year)
Birthday: January 30, 2000
Favorite school subject(s): Economics
Favorite song: Tomorrow is Greater than Today by Daniel Ekwendeni
Favorite book: Exploring Success Secrets by David Oyedepo
Helps at home by: Farming
What education means to Obed: “Education is the step by step process of learning things through discoveries made by people which help us to live in the better life after eradicating ignorance.”
Family History: Obed is the second born in a family of six children. Both of his parents are subsistence farmers who did not receive an education and cannot afford to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for their children. Obed’s older sister attends college through support from EKARI. His other siblings are in primary school, which is free in Malawi. Obed completed his freshman year of high school with support from the local social welfare office and then the office discontinued funding to Obed. EKARI stepped in and supported Obed through high school and will now support his higher education. With your support, Obed will be able to continue his education!
Life in Phalombe: Obed 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.
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