Chisomo C.

School: Senior at Private Boarding High School

School Location: Mangochi, Malawi

Length of bus ride from Chisomo’s home to school: 5 hours

Number of bus rides from home to school: 3 buses (She travels between home and school only during school breaks – about 4 times a year.)

Birthday: December 31, 2001

Hobby: Listening to gospel music and playing games

Favorite school subject(s): Biology, math, English

Favorite song: Mwasintha Nyengo Zanga by Thoko Katimva (she resonates with his life’s story)

Favorite book: Self-discovery novels

Helps at home by: Farming, fetching firewood and water, other household chores

What education means to Chisomo: “Education is very important in a sense that I will bring transformation in my society as well as in my country as a whole.”

Her teacher says: “Chisomo is a hard working student and academically talented!”

Family History: Chisomo is an only child. 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 Chisomo. Before receiving support from EKARI, Chisomo was financially supported by a local teacher. The teacher ran into financial difficulties and was no longer able to pay for Chisomo’s tuition and basic needs so Chisomo turned to EKARI for help. With your support, Chisomo will be able to continue her education.

Life in Phalombe: Chisomo 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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