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

“Passing on the kindness is about loving your neighbor and being true to yourself - it reveals what is in your heart”

Ida P

Ida Puliwa was born and raised in Mulanje, in Nakhonyo Village. She walked two hours to school every day and endured the hot sand on her bare feet. Over the years, she watched as her friends dropped out due to the distance, hunger, pregnancy, and forced marriages.

When Ida’s mother did not conceive a male child, her father was told to re-marry. He refused, and declared he would raise Ida as if she were a boy. Ida became the first girl in her village to graduate from secondary school. 

Unfortunately, Ida’s parents could not afford to send her to university.  But then, in 2011, an American professor visited Ida’s village for a presentation, and Ida was the only person who could translate. The professor was so impressed that she offered to sponsor the rest of Ida’s education.

Ida was so inspired by the kindness a stranger could show her in a day, she wondered, what could we achieve if we showed this same kindness to our neighbors. So two weeks after starting university, Ida returned to her village to start a charity that would support girls’ education. She called it Othakarhaka, which in Chichewa means “passing on the kindness.”

As Ida tried to grow her organization, she was repeatedly told “No, you are “just a girl” by community leaders, men, and others that didn’t understand the benefit of girls’ education.

Finally, Senior Chief Nkanda gave Ida the support she needed. With the help of 65 village volunteers who believed in her vision, the Othakarhaka Foundation was formed in 2012.

The organization was officially registered in 2013. Othakarhaka is a volunteer-based organization that has an active volunteer base of over 6,700 in the domains of senior Chiefs Nkanda, Juma, Nthiramanja, Njema and Mabuka, covering an estimated population of 500,000 people.

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