Meet Jonathan Chikaonda, our sponsored student who got the highest points in his Malawi School Certificate Examinations (MSCE). Read our latest blog to learn more about Jonathan’s journey.
The Orant Journal
Orant Student Sponsorship: An Investment in Malawian Communities
In Malawi, secondary school prepares students for trade school or university. The catch: it costs money. Many secondary students in Malawi struggle to pay tuition. Their families cannot afford it. John Nyirenda was no exception. “I was chased out of school for failure to pay school fees,” he said.
John grew up in a rural village. He was the last born in a family of five. He explained, “there were not many role models in the village.” But one stood out to him: a nurse at the health center. Seeing how this nurse served others inspired John. He felt called to work in health service. He feared that without an education, this dream would not come true.
At a loss, John talked to the Bowe Parish Priest in Kasungu, Malawi. He discussed the barriers to his education. The priest connected John with Orant Charities Africa.
Orant started paying for John’s tuition in his second year of secondary school. His sponsors continued to support him through college. It took discipline and hard work for John to succeed in his studies. “I was afraid of failure. I did not want to disappoint those paying for my school fees.”
John did not disappoint.
9 years after his sponsorship began, John chose to return to Orant. This time, he worked as a volunteer for Kasese Health Centre. He was still in school, waiting to write his final exams in nursing. After his exams, a position opened up at Orant. John applied, interviewed, and received an offer. Now, he is a Nurse and Midwife Technician. He is registered with the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi.
“Working with Orant is a dream come true,” he said. His coworkers make him feel at home. “I am happy that Orant takes care of both its employees and the surrounding community.”
John’s heart is tied to serving others. He wants to continue growing with Orant. Eventually, he hopes to further his education from a diploma to a degree. Then, he plans to pay it forward. “I want to use my resources to help others who are struggling with school fees.” Education, he believes, is a key. “It has transformed my life. It has given me hope and the opportunity to save others. With my salary, I am able to take care of myself and my siblings.”
John Nyirenda’s story exemplifies much of what we hope to do with our programs. John achieved personal success. He accomplished his dreams. But he also made new dreams. And his new dreams involve his community. He will continue to give back. Children will see him as a role model. Ultimately, he will contribute to Malawi’s self-sufficiency. This is Orant’s goal.
Stories from the Field
For the first time in the school’s 26-year history, Ngala Community Day Secondary School has a laboratory with lab supplies and chemicals. Read this week’s blog post to feel the excitement Ngala students and teachers share due to this development!
Congratulations to our sponsored student, Alick Nathan. Alick recently graduated from Malawi University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering Honors Degree. Read our latest blog to learn more about Alick’s journey!
Students in our Education Program build relationships with the donors who sponsor them and allow them to attend secondary school in Malawi.
The Orant Ulemu Scholarship helps students achieve their dreams of education at university. Steven Chiundira is one of two recipients in 2023.
Bridget Khunga is a recipient of the Orant Ulemu Scholarship, a university scholarship for high achieving students in rural Malawi.
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Esther Maupa is a 2022 recipient of the Orant Ulemu Scholarship. This scholarship covers university tuition for Orant Sponsored Students.
Mary Chipala applied for the Orant Charities Ulemu Scholarship. She is one of 7 students who won the scholarship to attend university.