"Passing on the kindness is transforming communities in Malawi."

OTK reflects on the successful and amazing University of Michigan Partnership: A look at the 2024 MBA Students’ visit

For several years, OTK and the University of Michigan have enjoyed a fruitful partnership, with annual projects that drive positive change in Malawi. Just like the previous projects with other teams, the 2024 partnership between the Othakarhaka Foundation (OTK) and the two University of Michigan’s Ross Business School Full-time MBA Teams wasn’t just about reports and recommendations – it was a whole month of collaboration, cultural exchange and a powerful impact on the girls of Malawi. This year, we embarked on two exciting projects with the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business MBA students: rebranding and communication strategizing. Little did we know that this partnership would yield even more remarkable outcomes!

The journey began with OTK directors visiting the USA

The journey began with a visit to the United States of America by OTK Directors Ida Puliwa and Ted Mwango. They brainstormed with the visiting MBA Team, solidifying plans and ensuring everyone was on the same page. Excitement filled the air as a week later, the 2 teams of enthusiastic MBA students arrived in Malawi.They tackled the challenges head-on with one team focusing on re-branding, while the other tackled strategizing and resource management.

The Branding team comprised; Hannah Mooney, Trenton Hill, Daniela Torres, Jatin Sharma, Andrew Ebeneizer and Madiha Chowdhury. The Resource mobilization team had Richard Agarwal, Syleste Davis, Cameron Ellis, Marielisa Hecht, Sergio Peschiera and Halima Said.

Welcome to Malawi the 2024 MBA Students

Upon arrival, the MBA students’ teams were greeted with traditional dances by volunteers and beneficiaries from OTK. The tone was set for an incredible experience. The students were instantly immersed in the Malawian spirit. Throughout their stay, they participated in a variety of activities that went beyond strategy sessions. They planted trees, played a friendly (and let’s be honest, slightly competitive!) soccer match with the OTK girls’ team (OTK emerged victorious!). We were also honored by our guests with their beautiful gesture of attending the wedding of one of our staff members.

Professor Ted London arrival and solidification of projects

A week after the teams’ arrival, we were also honoured to welcome Professor Ted London, the MBA Students faculty adviser. He joined the team, adding another layer of expertise. The branding team masterminded a fresh new logo and website design for OTK, while the other team strategized data plan and fundraising strategy plan. Overall, these masters of business administration students did put their mastery work in practice with passion for our mission and social causes.

The teams while they tirelessly worked for us felt compelled to do something further incredible. Moved by the stories of the girls on our waitlist who have not been lucky to get scholarships, the team raised over $8,800. This generous donation enabled OTK to sponsor and get over 20 girls back to secondary school who had been on our wait list on full scholarship.

We celebrated our successful collaboration in African attire

As their time in Malawi drew to a close, Hapuwani Village Lodge generously hosted a farewell party for the students. The evening was filled with traditional dances, delicious food and warm Malawian music. It was a fitting celebration of our collaboration. During their stay, the students also hiked Mulanje mountain and explored Majete National Park. They truly experienced the beauty of Malawi and created memories.

Thank you and farewell party for our 2024 MBA Students guests

Finally, the day arrived to say goodbye. With a successful collaboration behind them, we escorted our MBA students guests to the Chileka International airport in Blantyre. We were filled with gratitude for their dedication and the positive impact they made. As we bid farewell to our new friends, we were grateful for the incredible work we had accomplished together. We look forward to continued growth and success in supporting Malawi’s most vulnerable communities. Thank you University of Michigan! Thank you to the 2024 MBA students visiting team!

Share post


Passing on the kindness is transforming communities in Malawi.

Othakarhaka Foundation
Chitakale-Phalombe road near Chambe Secondary school P.O Box 150, Mulanje, Malawi
Call: +265881 15 35 13
Email: info@othakarhakafoundation.mw

Stay up to date with Othakarhaka

© 2012-2024 Othakarhaka Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll to Top