Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi

by EKARI Foundation Vetted since 2014 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi
Life Skills for 300 Youth and Adults in Malawi

In January, we hosted a two day motivational and interactive gathering for EKARI's college students focused on entrepreneurship, resilience, and health.

On the first day, a young Malawian entrepreneur, Gift Sukez Sukali, shared his story of how he created and continues to grow his business. He emphasized the importance of starting a business to create jobs for the many unemployed youth in Malawi. Next, a past student, Laston, told his story of resilience. After being underemployed for some time and continuously searching for a better opportunity, Laston finally obtained a job relevant to his college studies. Finally, a health expert spoke with the students about self-care and sex education while in college. 

On the second day, the students discussed challenges that their families and communities face and brainstormed solutions. EKARI's goal is for the students we support to become leaders in their communities and one day help to solve the challenges that their families face on a daily basis.    

Dear Supporters!

We are excited to share that 100% of EKARI-sponsored high school seniors passed their senior-year exam… again! This represents a 100% pass-rate for the 4th year in a row! (This is also terrific news considering that there is a country-wide pass rate of only 63%.) And for the 2nd year in a row, 100% of the seniors qualify for university!

This shows that EKARI’s Tutoring, Library, and Mentorship Programs - which include life skills training - are making a significant impact, allowing students a better chance for attending higher education and increased likelihood of future employment.

These students are currently participating in EKARI's Computer Program so that they will be able to complete assignments while at college. Higher education institutions in Malawi require students to complete assignments on a personal computer even though most youth have not had access to computer programs prior to starting their higher education and cannot afford to buy a computer. We loan students a laptop during college.

Moreover, as first generation college students, they will now start to receive guidance through our Higher Education Preparation Program, which helps them navigate the application process.

Thank you for your continued support! 

Practical lessons!
Practical lessons!

During the last weekend of August 2018, Mr. Patrick Kapito worked with EKARI's tutoring teachers and students to help them teach and study, respectively, in order to learn rather than memorize. Mr. Kapito is a local university lecturer who specializes in imparting critical thinking and problem solving skills. 

Mr. Kapito first observed each of the seven tutoring teachers whom EKARI contracts with as they taught the tutoring sessions. He also observed the students' small group discussions and practical lessons (science experiements!). After day-long tutoring sessions, Patrick Kapito met with the teachers to discuss and give pointers for how the teachers can instill creative thinking and lifelong learning skills within the students, provide hands-on experiences, and create lessons based on real life situations. The teachers will use this knowledge moving forward with our future tutoring lessons. 

Patrick Kapito then met with EKARI's students the following day. He focused on report writing, note taking, communication/dialogue, debate management, critical thinking, speech, and reading comprehension skills. At the start of the day, Patrick noted that students especially faced challenges regarding independent thinking, public speaking, reading retention, and note taking. After much hard work and effort by Patrick and EKARI's students, there was great improvement by the end of the day! There is much work still to be done, but Patrick has given EKARI's students the lifelong learning skills they need to continue their efforts. Patrick will visit EKARI again during the December 2018 school holiday in order to continue working with EKARI's students!     

Communication/Dialogue Sessions
Communication/Dialogue Sessions
Patrick teaching
Patrick teaching
Tutoring session
Tutoring session
Meeting with teachers
Meeting with teachers
Patrick observing study groups
Patrick observing study groups
EKARI
EKARI's Program Coordinators

I traveled to Malawi in April for my annual monitoring and evaluation trip. Because I communicate daily with our field staff, my trip went pretty much as expected. But, it was those things that I did not expect that made my trip worthwhile. I saw firsthand how our life skills training sessions are having an impact! 

For two days, I took our field staff away from the daily grind of work, persistent asks for support, and the hustle and bustle of Phalombe (Phalombe is a rural village, but market days can be quite active!). I hosted a retreat at a rustic lodge located in the shadow of Mount Mulanje, just 30 minutes from Phalombe. To commence the retreat and get to know our staff better (we have 3 new employees since I last visited), we completed a core values exercise. The point of the exercise is to determine your core values and how those core values play a role in your life. What surprised us all was that of the 18 core values listed, all 6 of us shared only four of them (justice, love, family, and wisdom). This exercise lay the foundation for the next two days where we bonded and gained increased trust in one another.

Prior to my trip, we identified a few program challenges. I asked our field staff to come to the retreat prepared with proposed solutions. I simply asked questions to fill in the gaps and we found a way forward. Because our field staff further developed EKARI's programs on their own, they will take more ownership of the programs moving forward and be more passionate about their work. I saw their passion for EKARI's work not only at the retreat, but also during my field visits. Jacqueline beamed with joy when she introduced me to one of the Village Savings and Loan groups we work with; she calls them her 'baby' because the VSL was on the brink of collapse when she started working with them and now all 20 members experience profits. In amazement, I saw that this is not just a job for Jacqueline; it is a way of giving back to her fellow Malawians.

A two week school holiday occurred during my visit. I stayed in our new home with the girls we support. I must admit that I can easily get overwhelmed living with 30 youth. It can be noisy and chaotic. And usually there is a constant barrage of questions from students asking me for things. This year was different. It was quieter; the students respected study hours without Elias having to remind them like he used to. The youth strictly adhered to a chore chart. I assumed Elias had created it, but when I looked closer I saw that one of our students was the author. And not a single student asked me for anything - this was the greatest surprise of my trip. Instead we had fabulous conversations about EKARI, America, and our families. The Saturday morning that I departed, I could only find a few students. "Where is everyone?", I asked thinking that they had gone to the market to have fun. I was way off. They were in the field next door working hard to harvest corn for EKARI's 3 Meals a Day Program! I called them out of the field and got a bunch of sweaty hugs. That was the best send off I could have received. The dependency syndrome that we struggle with is greatly decreasing among our youth!

Thank you to all who support EKARI's amazing work! Although you cannot see it directly with your own eyes, through mine, please know that you are making a difference.

Zabwino zonse (all my best),
Michelle Bradley

VSL Group
VSL Group
Student Debates
Student Debates
Small group study sessions
Small group study sessions

Many nonprofit organizations working in Malawi's Phalombe district, including EKARI, acknowledge that adult illiteracy represents the greatest challenge in their efforts to conduct sustainable and empowering development work. Adult illiteracy slows the overall development of developing countries such as Malawi and perpetuates the suffering of entire communities. Several adult community members in our impact area state, “My life has been full of challenges and suffering because I did not have the opportunity to learn how to read and to write”. Many illiterate adults do not see the importance of an education and therefore do not wish to send their children to school, which contributes to the vicious cycle of extreme generational poverty in Malawi.

To address these low literacy rates, EKARI partnered with the local Phalombe government starting in February 2014, providing approximately 250 adults annually access to adult literacy classes. We currently operate 11 adult literacy classes, nine conducted in Chichewa (native language) and two in English. Our primary objective to increase adult literacy rates in the Phalombe district.

Of the current 11 classes are four new Chichewa classes that we recently established in February! Mable, our Community Programs Coordinator, worked with local government trainers to train new instructors for each of the four classes. Instructors are community members who have completed at least their sophomore year of high school. EKARI provides monthly stipends to these instructors. Mable also delivered learning materials to each class including chalkboards, textbooks, notebooks, and pens. 

During the classes, adult learners not only learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also acquire knowledge about topics such as health/sanitation, HIV/AIDS, gender rights, agriculture, food/nutrition, etc. Entire communities benefit from our Adult Literacy Program because adult learners pass the knowledge gained onto their family and fellow community members. One adult learner stated, “I now understand the importance of washing my hands and asking my children to do the same for the health of my family.” 

Thank you for your support of this important and life changing program! 

Links:

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

EKARI Foundation

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ekarifoundation
Project Leader:
Michelle Bradley
Seattle, WA United States

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.