Memory is a Form 4 (Senior) at Nsondole CDSS. Her vibrant personality seems to attract peers wherever she goes.
Memory loves school. She goes to school to receive a better education. Because Memory wants to become an entrepreneur, she knows she must do well in her classes in secondary school so that she can be accepted into University.
But Memory didn’t always attend Nsondole. Memory was previously receiving her education from a different school, where an NGO was running a program to pay for girls’ school fees. She was unable to pay for her education, yet the school thought she came from an area that was more well off. Therefore, the school gave the NGO’s coverage of Memory’s education to another girl. Not being able to pay for school, she considered marriage prior to continuing her education at Nsondole. She has other siblings who have gotten married, and sometimes it can seem like the grass is greener on the other side. Memory’s love for learning and big dreams motivated her to continue her secondary education.
Memory has 3 other siblings, 1 brother and 2 sisters. Her oldest sister, the first born, as well as the second oldest are already married. She is the third oldest. She lives with her grandparents, as her parents passed away sometime ago.
In the future, she wants to own a big business. She says she wants to employ others, by having a shop in town and selling things like clothes and cooking utensils.
She enjoys reading and playing netball (a form of basketball, a common sport for girls in Malawi). Her favorite classes are English and Physical Science.
Memory lives in a village which is a 7 kilometer walk (just over 4 ⅓ miles) from Nsondole CDSS.
Her school life revolves around the natural light available to her. Normally she wakes up at 2:00 AM so that she can study for an hour by moonlight before needing to get ready for the day at 3:00 AM.
She has to leave by 5:00 AM or she will be late.
Sometimes the heavy downpour that occurs during the rainy season makes certain roads difficult to travel by for Memory. If doesn’t manage to make it to school on time at 7:30 AM, she is turned away at the door, and not allowed to attend class.
Since she leaves really early in the morning, usually she goes to school without any food. By the time she reaches at school, she is hungry. Maybe around 1:00 PM she has some time to get out of the classroom to at least take a break outside without eating anything. And then she goes back to class. Maybe around break time she takes a short nap in a classroom.
Sometimes if she feels more than hungry, she heads home. When she arrives, she tries to find food. Her grandmother is old and sometimes is unable to cook. The household also relies on Memory for many things. She will often cook or fetch water from the nearby well.
While this is Memory’s everyday life, there are even more challenges she faces. In the coming weeks, we will feature two more stories about Memory. If you are interested in reading these follow-up stories, and learning about how you can help, please click the button below to sign up for email notifications.