Thank you for choosing to sponsor a student in Malawi through EKARI Foundation! The sponsorship process will be rewarding, but can also be a challenging. We have developed several policies to best approach the ups and downs along the way. The students we support are committed to their education and each year we celebrate as they move to the next grade level, receive their college acceptance letter, graduate, or obtain a job!
We strive to find sponsors for all students prior to the start of a new school year, but this does not always occur. Therefore, we retain reserve funding to pay for tuition in order for the students we support to start a new school year. We then continue to recruit sponsors and the funds we receive subsequent to the start of a new school year replenish our reserves.
The school year in Malawi operates from September to June. We do our best to estimate yearly sponsorship amounts, but have found that costs can vary. We therefore pass on extra funds from one student to another when needed and/or direct extra funds to our youth programs.
Probation and Termination Policy
The education system in Malawi is complex and many schools lack the necessary elements required such as books and qualified teachers to provide a quality education. Although we developed our Complementary Student Programs to combat these issues, sometimes our students need to repeat a grade level. If a student fails a grade level, he/she will be placed on probation and will be offered one chance to repeat. Upon second failure, a student will no longer receive assistance from EKARI with the exception of a student who fails his/her high school senior year exam twice, but wants to continue his/her education at a trade school. EKARI will continue support because a trade school education nearly guarantees that a student will receive a job even without a high school graduation certificate.
Early pregnancies and the spread of HIV/AIDS is a major issue in Malawi. A female student who becomes pregnant and her male counterpart are required by Malawi schools to leave school for a year. EKARI Foundation will discontinue assistance for female students that are found to be pregnant and male students found to have impregnated an EKARI or non-EKARI student. We commenced our Health Education & HIV/AIDS Awareness Program in order to help address this issue. After a one year probation, students will be eligible to take part in EKARI’s application process, but will not be given preferential treatment.
Sponsors can expect an updated photo of their student once a year along with an annual report as well as regular email updates. Although many of our students will write letters, we have found that students better express their gratitude through poems, songs, and plays; sponsors can expect to view a video every so often. Sponsors can correspond with their student as much or as little as they would like. All contact between a sponsor and a student must pass through EKARI Foundation.
Social Media Policy
Students are allowed to use social media while receiving support from EKARI. But, students are NOT allowed to contact their sponsors and vice versa through social media while receiving support from the EKARI. Due to the very public and global nature of social media, EKARI Foundation will have access to and monitor students’ social media pages and will require that students remove inappropriate information immediately upon notice. Once sponsorship is complete, students and sponsors are allowed to communicate through social media. We encourage sponsors to follow EKARI on our social media outlets below.
We work to promote community among our students. We would not want one student to receive additional funds and another not as this may create unnecessary jealousy. Therefore, if you would like to give additional money to your student for a birthday or holiday please feel free to do so, but it is our policy that these funds be shared equally among all of our students to purchase clothing, food, special school supplies, etc.