In a world where compassion and altruism often go unnoticed, the Othakarhaka Charity Foundation is thrilled to announce a heartwarming recognition that goes beyond its remarkable work. A global team of journalists and researchers at the University of Southern California produced 100 stories about people dedicated to working for positive change as part of the Spiritual Exemplars Project. Ida Puliwa, the visionary founder of the Othakarhaka Foundation was among the people to receive the recognition, and her work at the Othakarhaka foundation is now among the multimedia exhibits at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The Othakarhaka Foundation under Ida’s transformative leadership has made significant strides across various spheres, leaving a profound impact on countless lives within the communities it serves. From healthcare and quality education, to food security, reafforestation, gender equality and economic empowerment, the Foundation’s initiatives have undeniably changed thousands of lives for the better.
Few of the Foundation’s notable accomplishments involves the provision of free essential medical support to the most needy individuals through walk in general medicine, home based palliative care for people with incurable illnesses such as cancers and family planning.
In addition to providing education scholarships to both secondary and college students, supporting primary school learners, especially orphans who lack basic necessities, has been a cornerstone of Othakarhaka’s mission. Through the provision of uniforms, shoes, exercise books, pencils, and mosquito nets, the Foundation has tackled the issue of absenteeism caused by malaria, ensuring that these young learners have the resources they need to thrive. Furthermore, the Foundation provides free library access and has introduced computer lessons to students in rural community school with no access to school libraries and computers
Othakarhaka Foundation has also taken a resolute stand against forced marriages and other forms of gender-based violence, initiating research within schools to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by young girls. This groundbreaking research has contributed to creating a safer and more nurturing environment for girls to pursue their education. Now hundreds of girls are supported by Othakarhaka to go back to school after rescuing them from forced and illegal marriages.. Othakarhaka has also empowered young abandoned teen mothers who can no longer go back to school to become financially independent by providing them with fashion designing training and give them a sewing machine and start up materials to start their own businesses. These teen mothers in return pay back the cost of a sewing machine to support the upcoming students.
Agro-forestry and reafforestation projects have been instrumental in mitigating environmental challenges. The Foundation has established tree nurseries in villages within its catchment area, distributing thousands of tree seedlings to public schools, public institutions, religious institutions and in different communities.
The act of sharing with the elderly and impoverished individuals, who often live on less than a dollar a day, embodies the Foundation’s unwavering commitment to alleviating poverty and improving lives. One of the most heart-touching initiatives is the Roofing Project, where grass-thatched houses of the elderly are replaced with iron-sheet roofs, creating a safer and more comfortable living environment.
In addition to these impactful initiatives, a free cervical cancer screening clinic, supported by the Canadian-based K2 Foundation, addresses the pressing issue of cervical cancer morbidity and mortality in Malawi. It offers hope and support to women, especially those of reproductive age and those who have reached menopause.
What make the Othakarhaka foundation so unique is the ‘passing on the kindness ‘philosophy which states that once somebody gets support from the organization, he/she should pay the support forward by supporting another person or do a community service.
Ida Puliwa’s recognition as a Spiritual Exemplar serves as a testament to her dedication, as well as the invaluable contributions of the entire OTK team, volunteers, and the unwavering support from all friends and supporters who have made these transformative initiatives possible.
The Othakarhaka Foundation is profoundly proud of Ida’s recognition and remains inspired by her exceptional leadership.