Under the Baobab Tree is committed towards bringing developed solutions to the developing world. We incorporate these solutions within traditional life maintaining cultural integrity while improving lives. Our goal is to empower villages to empower themselves; promoting sustainability through education. The sponsorship program is in line with this mission. Your contribution not only funds the basic education and supplies that every child should have, but it also funds “green” improvements to the school which will promote long term success. Additionally, it will introduce enhanced hands-on lessons teaching agriculture, computer science, and vocational training. These lessons will give the children valuable skills that they can use immediately in their day-to-day lives which will financially empower them. The school affects the entire village. It is truly a community center for the village of Namaso Bay. Once it is improved, we can use this site to empower adults as well in terms of language and vocational training, cottage industry microfinance, support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS, women’s support groups, and on-site medical support. Can you imagine a better way to spend 70 cents a day?
We came to unravel Salome’s’ story while doing home-based care. At first we thought we were visiting a crippled man with a leg condition, what we found was a story of tragedy. A common story told in our village, not an exception to the rule; the norm. Like many other stories that were told during our visit, Salome’s’ story was hidden among other diseases, poverty, and hunger. Masked by the symptoms, not the cause, and only fully realized after a series of intense questioning to her father and mother.
What we discovered was that her father was widowed in 2002. At the time, they believed his wife died of Malaria, but they later discovered the “true” killer to be AIDS after both her father and half-brother were diagnosed in 2006. Her father remarried in 2003 producing her and her little brother. Her mother has since been diagnosed with AIDS. Her parents are too sick to work and her older brother, who graduated from the Namaso Bay School, now tends the family while his own condition worsens. In little time, the burden of the family will lie on Salome and her grandmother. Salome’s’ only saving grace is education. Education is truly her only potential outlet to unlock the chains of poverty and disease and gain the life that every child should have the opportunity to make for themselves.
Salome is one child out of 452 attending our Namaso Bay School. Salome is not an orphan, yet we have over 300. In February, the kind donors for UTBT paid for the HIV testing of our entire village. We know education and medical assistance will greatly impact her life and we know through the dedication of our volunteers, staff, and people like you that we can provide this for her; we have a duty not to turn a blind eye.
Under the Baobab Tree is committed to leveraging sponsoring for all the children attending the Namaso Bay School. Sponsorship of $250 per year (only 70 cents per day) will reduce student/teacher ratios, provide supplies, 2 meals per day, enriched education including vocational training and hands on practical training in agricultural techniques and livestock care, and much needed improvements to the overall condition of our school utilizing sustainable methods like solar paneling and water collection. Currently, our school is falling apart; the family that could at one time financially support all the children can no longer do so. The children are lacking even the most basic supplies like paper, chairs, and desks. The school is the only school within 25 kilometers and accepts all children free of charge with no child being turned away. This is a very rare quality of any primary school in Malawi and throughout East Africa where primary school is the most expensive investment in education and an obvious segregator of economic classes.
Please join us and help Salome and others like her by making the generous gift of education. We can all spare one less coffee per week to drastically improve the life of a child. Even in our hard economic times we cannot fathom what poverty truly looks like to over 90% of the planet living on less than a dollar a day.