In a country devastated by poverty, many people within Malawi are lacking the education
they need. Empowering Malawi has partnered with the non-profit organization Africa Bags to provide Malawians with a better
education and give them the opportunity to expand their knowledge. Empowering Malawi is working alongside Africa Bags to create
new projects in the villages and towns of Malawi. All these projects are geared towards making education easier and more accesable
to everyone. We believe that when given an education you are given the power to achieve your dreams.
About Malawi and the Issue of Education
is a landlocked country located in southeast Africa. Approximately the size of Pennsylvania, Malawi shares its borders with
Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It is estimated that Malawi’s population is over 13,900,000.
Malawi is a country that has been engulfed by poverty. According
to Malawi's National Economic Council, in the year 2000 about 65.3% of all Malawians lived below the poverty line. Due to
this extreme poverty, many people in Malawi are not getting the education they need. Malawi’s literacy rate is only
62.7%, compared to America's literacy rate of 98%. In Malawi the net enrollment rate for primary school students is only 87%.
By the time students have moved on to secondary school (the equivalent of high school in the US) the enrollment rate drops
down to only 18%. One cause of this low enrollment rate is the cost of attending secondary school. In Malawi primary school
is free, but if students want to enroll in secondary school it can cost from 75 to 250 US dollars a year. In a country where
most of its citizens live off of less than $1 a day, attending school can become unaffordable.
To watch a short documentary and learn more about education in Malawi, please click here.
|The sun setting outside of a Malawian village.
|A Malawian Teacher
|Clothes hanging in the village of Kamweko.
Current Projects: The Kamweko Library Project
Many projects directed towards education focus only on students in schools; the children
and teenagers of a community. Empowering Malawi wants to give the whole community the opportunity to gain knowlege. Our aim
is to start a project that will not only help the students, but also their parents and other adults within the community.
From this goal, Empowering Malawi has decided to create a library in the village of Kamweko.
Kamweko is located in northern Malawi, near the town of Mzuzu. It is one of the seven
villages working with the Africa Bags organization. In 2008 they used their profits from participating in Africa Bags
to create a Community Development Center. This center has three rooms, one used mostly for the production of Africa Bags,
and the other two used for events and projects within the village. The Kamweko Library is being established within one of
Empowering Malawi is fundraising for books and other materials needed
to create this library. In June of 2011, Empowering Malawi and Africa Bags volunteers traveled to Malawi and brought with
them around 700 books to begin the community library in Kamweko. The volunteers organized the donated books and worked with
villagers from Kamweko to build a shelf for the library. A librarian was hired to run the library and plans were made to offer
adult and student literacy classes within Kamweko's Library. The adult literacy program will be used to give adults
the opportunity to re-educate themselves, while the student literacy program will focus on developing students' literacy skills
and building their love for reading. With the help of Enlightening Malawi we will install solar panels in Kamweko's
library that will enable use of the library even after the sun has set. Eventually Empowering Malawi plans on constructing
its own building to house the library.
Malawi plans on fund-raising $6,000 U.S. dollars to be used for the Kamweko Library Project. This money will cover all
our costs, including the cost of constructing a building for the library. So far, about $1,000 has been raised.
If you would like
to help with or have questions about this project, please send an email to email@example.com with "Kamweko Library"
as the subject.
|Students from the Malivenji school in Kamweko.
|The Kamweko Community Development Center, where the Kamweko library has been built.
|Children of Kamweko village.
May 3rd, 2011- Zoey Petitt and Empowering Malawi were feautured in the Loveland,
CO Reporter Herald. To view the online version of this article, please click here.
May 15th, 2011- On May 22nd,
2011 Zoey Petitt will travel to Malawi to build Empowering Malawi's first library in the village of Kamweko! On this trip
Empowering Malawi will hire a librarian for the Kamweko library, build shelves, begin shelving the libraries donated books,
and conduct a baseline survey of the literacy levels of our initial library users.
June 29th, 2011-View pictures from Empowering Malawi's
2011 trip to establish the project's first library in Kamweko online now! Click here to view our photos.
Current Fund-Raisers and Events:
1 in 3 Bracelet Fund-Raiser- 1
in 3 Bracelets are made from African beads by volunteers in the US. They are made using one unique bead for every three used on the bracelet
to represent the fact that 1 out of every 3 Malawians is illiterate. All profits from the sales of these bracelets will go to Empowering Malawi. To purchase a
1 in 3 Bracelet please visit the Africa Bags Online Store or click here.
Empowering Malawi Calendar Fund-Raiser- We are now selling 2013
Calendars to raise money for the Kamweko Library Project. The Empowering Malawi 2013 calendar is full
of photographs from Malawi and the village of Kamweko in which our first library has been created. The calendar begins in
January of 2013 and lasts until December of 2013. All money raised from the sales
of this calendar will be used to support the Kamweko library. To purchase this calendar please visit the Africa Bags Online
Store or click here.
Empowering Malawi T-Shirt Fund-Raiser- We are selling
100% cotton T-Shirts printed with the Empowering Malawi logo. The T-Shirts are black with the Empowering Malawi logo printed
in white. We have Men's and Women's T-Shirts ranging in size from Small to Extra Large. All funds raised from the purchases
of these T-Shirts will benefit Empowering Malawi and the Kamweko Library Project. To purchase a T-Shirt please visit the Africa
Bags Online Store, or click here.
Past Fund-Raisers and Events:
Throughout the month of March, 2011, Empowering Malawi hosted a book drive to benefit the Kamweko
Library Project. In places around the town of Loveland, Colorado, Empowering Malawi placed book collection boxes where
people could donate their new or used books. From this book drive, Empowering Malawi has gathered nearly 600 books! This means
we not only met, but exceeded our goal of collecting 500 books during this book drive. Empowering Malawi would like to thank
the Loveland Public Library, Thompson Valley High School, and City Newsstand for their support throughout this book drive.
We would also like to thank everyone who donated their books and made this book drive a success!
From December of 2010 to January of 2011 Empowering Malawi sold calendars to fund-raise for
the Kamweko Library. In total we sold 35 calendars, and just from the sales of these calendars raised almost $500! All this
money will be be put towards the Kamweko Library Project, and is bringing us 1/12 of the way to our project goal of raising
a total of $6,000. Thanks to everyone who participated in Empowering Malawi's Calendar Fund-Raiser!
|This is the logo printed on the Empowering Malawi T-Shirts
|A poster advertising the Empowering Malawi Book Drive.
|A view of the month of January from Africa Bags 2011 calendar.
The People of This Project:
Empowering Malawi was started by Zoey Petitt. Zoey's first trip to Malawi was in June of 2009. Since then, she has
returned to Malawi during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Currently, Zoey Petitt is an 11th grader going
to highschool in Berthoud, CO. Visiting Malawi helped her recognize the need for better education in Malawi and decide to
work provide the people of Malawi with the opportunity to educate themselves. She began Empowering Malawi in 2010 and hopes
that someday this project will have helped millions of people.
|Malivenji School in the village of Kamweko
|Zoey Petitt, painting with a child from Kamweko village.
|Children from Malawi performing a skit they created.
If you have any questions, comments,
or would like to know more about how you can help Empowering Malawi, please contact Zoey Petitt. You can send her an email
at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can write
|Children in Kamweko village.
|A student outside of the Malivenji school.
|A Malawian classroom.
*Africa Bags is a registered 501 (C)(3), so any donations
to Africa Bags or Empowering Malawi are tax deductable.