It is with a heavy heart that I share the tragic news of Chikondi Matitiyo’s sudden death on Dec 7th, 2010. Chikondi (a Chichewa word meaning love) was one of the youngest girls in the group of 24 students that Memory and I originally taught while volunteer teaching in Malawi in 2000. Chikondi was a sweet, loving girl with a contagious laugh, a beautiful smile and an eager curious mind.
Chikondi finished Form 1 at the ERGO school where Memory and I first met her. I found a sponsor for her, Glenys Berry (my former vice-principal from the Oliver School Nellie McClung Program), who then paid for her to complete her secondary schooling at Phwezi Girls Secondary School in northern Malawi. In 2003, Chikondi succeeded in passing her M.S.C.E. (Malawian Secondary Certificate of Education), an achievement that no one else in her village has ever matched. Still under sponsorship from Glenys, Chikondi completed a two year diploma in Business Studies and the Phwezi Women’s Training Center. She was then given a micro-credit loan and opened her own nursery school at the Kalenga Trading Center, just a short walk from her village. Her income supported her mother and cousins for many years, paying tuition for many of her younger cousins, nieces and nephews.
During the drought in 2005, Chikondi helped Memory in distributing maize and seeds to over 1500 people purchased from money raised through my friends, teaching colleagues, sponsors and students.
More recently, Chikondi had succeeded in securing a position as Burser and Secretary at the Chamama Day Community Secondary School, a position that she enjoyed very much.
Chikondi was the only one in her village earning an income and without her, her mother is absolutely destitute. I would like to be able to provide Chikondi’s mother with a small donation of $300 to be used during this period of grief to help her cover Chikondi’s funeral expenses and ease her most pressing and immediate financial needs. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please contribute by either sending your cheque, made payable to the ‘Sooke Rotary Community Organization’, to:
Atsikana Pa Ulendo (Girls on the Move) Malawi Education Foundation
650 Pearson College Dr.
Victoria, BC V9C 4H7
You have made us all proud and you will be missed terribly.