School: University studying for Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Midwifery (will start fall 2019)
School Location:Blantyre, Malawi
Length of bus ride from Stella’s home to school: 3 hours
# of bus rides from home to school: 2
Birthday: January 24, 1999
Favorite school subject(s): Biology, math, English
Favorite song: Pana by Techno
Favorite book: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Helps at home by: Farming, fetching water, and household chores
Family History: Stella comes from a large family of seven children. She is the the 3rd born. Both of her parents are subsistence farmers. They did not receive an education and cannot afford to pay for school fees or even basic necessities for their children. Stella has three younger siblings in primary school – primary school is free in Malawi. Her older siblings were not able to continue their education after primary school. EKARI supported Stella through high school and, with your help, will support her higher education!
Life in Phalombe: Stella 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.