As mentioned in previous posts, when Mtendere Village opened in 2005 we had 16 orphans and one housemother. It has been my privilege to be a “proud mama” and watch these children grow up. I have witnessed them grow physically, change emotionally, be challenged spiritually, and excel academically. I love each and every one of them, and as the mother of Mtendere, I have been known to brag. I simply cannot help myself! That leads me to Stephen Makasu.
One of the first to arrive at Mtendere, Stephen was more than a little uncertain about what his new life would look like. He had nothing to compare it to, no one to ask for advice; he was so small, and very shy. What a difference seven years makes! Today, Stephen has matured into one of the strongest leaders on campus.
Stephen has led by example in the classroom, as well as on the Mtendere campus, and he instills in our younger kids the drive to be better and work harder. Always the top student in his class at Bambino (an international school right outside of Lilongwe), he is an intelligent young man who has cultivated his strengths in language and business.
All of us at 100X were exceedingly proud when, in 2010, he finished as the number one student in his German class and was given the opportunity to travel to Germany as part of an exchange program. Because of his leadership, we flew Stephen to the US where he represented Mtendere Village at our winter benefit. It is our hope that Stephen will be our first (but not the last) international collegiate student from Mtendere!
On their recent trip to Malawi, Dr. Rick Cook and other Auburn University faculty had the pleasure of meeting Stephen. Afterward, they shared with me that they were beyond impressed with his confident, yet respectful demeanor. Of course, my heart swelled with pride!
Through his hard work and commitment, Stephen has been able to participate in experiences that, prior to Mtendere Village, he could not even hope or imagine. His life exemplifies what we want all of our kids to experience.
Stephen and I both know that much of this would not have been possible without the support of his sponsors, the Knight family. In addition to financial sponsorship, they have encouraged Stephen through letters and have even traveled to Malawi to meet him. Because of their dedication to our sponsorship program, the Knights have changed the life of Stephen Makasu. I am so thankful for them, and for all of our sponsors who help our children achieve their dreams. Without them, 100X would not be able to care for the 140 children who call Mtendere “home.” So, we thank you!
If you’d like to join our family of sponsors, visit our Child Sponsorship page, or email Sponsor@100XDevelopment.com for more information. We’d love to have you!
–Dana Blanchard, Director of Operations for Malawi