WeSonder for Education
Misheck Banda is 14 years old and is preparing to start grade 8 in January. Entering grade 8 for Misheck is significant for multiple reasons. It’s the highest grade his father completed, and it’s also the highest grade his older brother completed. And three years ago, Misheck wasn’t sure he would ever make it that far.
In 2018, Misheck’s father unexpectedly passed away, turning Misheck’s life upside-down. His father was a security guard in the nearest town and provided for the family since Misheck, and his older brother were both in school. When their father passed, Misheck’s mother could no longer care for her sons, and she left the village—leaving Misheck’s brother in charge. That’s when Misheck’s brother stopped attending school and focused on caring for himself and his brother. Now Misheck holds the potential for both of them.
When we talked to Misheck on a recent visit to his community, he said after his father passed, he no longer saw school’s potential. His brother meant well, but it was hard to make sure Misheck had the materials he needed to thrive. As a result, Misheck began to miss classes. He was embarrassed not to have the notebooks he needed or a proper school uniform, and he began to think he could help more by not attending school. He knew it would only get harder to pay the school fees as he reached higher grades. Besides, he didn’t see how he’d ever be able to afford the costs of Secondary School.
Mishek Banda in his school uniform.
Misheck (center) with his brother and his brother’s wife. Misheck lives with them.
Then Misheck was introduced to The Sonder Project. Misheck lives in the community of Kauzegalu where The Sonder Project built a school block in 2020, and where we started to sponsor students at the start of 2021. Misheck was one of the first students identified by his teachers and community members who could benefit from the program. He was quickly accepted as part of our first group of sponsored students. Now Misheck tells us that education is in his future and that there are no more obstacles in his way. He even wants to be a teacher now! He has been inspired by one of his teachers who always encourages him to be on time and study. And with the support of The Sonder Project, he once again sees a path to get there.
In 2021, The Sonder Project sponsored 50 students with primary education ranging from grades 1-7. Of those, 70% of our students are girls. In 2022 we plan to double the number of primary school students that we sponsor and begin sponsoring 50 Secondary School students. Now students like Misheck will see the opportunity of education through Grade 12.
This is how WeSonder for education, and we invite you to join us. $225/yr or $19/month covers the cost of sponsoring a student like Misheck.
‘Sonder’ is defined as the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as our own. With this in mind, The Sonder “Project” is defined as the action we take to balance the inequalities in the world, particularly among those living in poverty who are too often passed by. Whenever we take such an action, we like to say, “WeSonder.” In the month of December, we are sharing stories of how WeSonder as we ask for your support during this time of giving. All donations will be matched up to $11,000. Help us get there.
The 2021 Sonder sponsored students at Kasikidzi School. Misheck is seated in the front left corner.
Thom wearing his new school uniform and carrying his new school bag full of supplies.
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