Orant Full Circle: Princess Phiri's Story

Princess in 2021, serving at Orant's Mobile Outreach Clinic

Education is said to be a major route out of poverty for individuals and nations. However, in Malawian rural settings, many children permanently leave school due to poverty. 

“I am the first born in a family of four,” Princess says, “My father separated from my mother when I was very young. He abandoned us.”

Princess and her siblings became reliant on just one parent, their mother. They sold doughnuts and banana fritters to make ends meet, but it wasn’t enough. 

“It was so hard for my mum to provide for my three siblings and I,” Princess says, “There were times that we spent the whole day on empty stomachs. As a result, we didn’t have energy to attend classes. We also didn’t have money for clothes and other basic school necessities.”

At the same time, 13 years ago, Orant was a new organization still wobbling on foal legs. We were made of questions then, searching for solutions. Besides clean water and healthcare, what does a community need to thrive? Our founders decided: education. Education broadens perspectives. It inspires possibility. It propels individual and collective growth. And so, Orant launched its sponsorship program

Princess was selected as one of Orant’s first sponsored students. She was 7 years old and in Standard 3. Orant enrolled her in Katete Girls Secondary School from Standard 3 to Standard 8.

Princess in 2008

“From the start, I was always active and  hardworking,” Princess says, “I stood out in my studies due to my tenacity and passion. I wanted to improve my family and my community’s condition. When I wrote my Standard 8 Primary School leaving exams, I performed well. I was selected to Nkhamenya Girls Secondary School.”

After secondary school, Princess studied Community Development at Salima Technical College. She graduated May 2021. Afterwards, she sought an internship at Orant. 

Princess in 2021, Salima Technical College Graduation

“It goes without mention that because of Orant’s support, I have an undying passion to give back as an intern. I care deeply about the wellbeing of others, especially those who are in the same condition I was in not so long ago.”

Princess plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development next year. She sees it as a ladder to achieving her passion to better serve communities.

As Orant celebrates our 14 year anniversary, we are moved by Princess’ story. It affirms our mission. By investing in the growth of individuals, we invest in the sustainability of communities. Princess, like John Nyirenda, uses her education to give back to others. We can’t imagine a greater purpose.

Interested in supporting students like Princess? Click here to donate. 

The Orant Journal