"I SEE MYSELF IN EVERY MALAWIAN CHILD, YEARNING FOR AN OPPORTUNITY"
- Yakoob Badat (Founder)
In Malawi, the yearning for possibilities is boundless. Adults and children alike have dreams that reach far beyond their physical surroundings. However, the challenges to achieving these dreams are forever present. It is my hope that through Nanze, I can aid the people of Malawi and Sub-Saharan Africa to reach dreams that are thought to be unattainable.
I came to America from Malawi when I was twelve years old. My life of service to others began with a Peace Corps experience during which I returned to Africa. There, I witnessed poverty and despair beyond what I had ever imagined. This awakened in me a desire to help others. As a result, when I returned to the US I obtained my educational credentials, believing that learning was the path to empowerment for everyone. I knew I had to educate myself before I could help others.
In Africa, the level of need broke my heart. Items that are basic to life in America are precious to the impoverished children of Africa. Writing journals and pens, along with simple items I brought for personal use, were precious commodities to the children I encountered. Water, which we take for granted and often waste in unfinished bottles, is severely limited in Africa. I encountered families bathing in the river, who then carried that same, now unclean water back to their huts for drinking and cooking.
I also saw how difficult it is for parents to create dreams for their children. It pains me to realize how many of these children suffer from a dearth of opportunity. When I returned to Malawi in 2011, I was disappointed to discover a lack of school materials available for eager children wanting to learn. This was an especially hard pill to swallow, considering the abundance of resources my own children and students enjoy. In Africa, local children use charcoal as a writing tool. This is unthinkable in America.
I followed through on my determination to educate myself, graduating from John Carroll University. I am now a high school principal with two gorgeous children of my own; my son, Izaiah, and my daughter, Nandi. Though I write this in relative comfort, my heart aches for the people of Africa in their utter poverty. These are my people; this is where I hail from. I see myself in every Malawian child, yearning for an opportunity. Such was the inception of Nanze.
My goal in creating Nanze is to generate endless opportunities so that the children of Malawi and Sub-Saharan African can soar. Through our mission, we strive to create tomorrow’s leaders. I believe the educational process will, ultimately, facilitate this reality. I stand by my belief that THE WORLD CAN BE CHANGED THROUGH EDUCATION.
The mission of Nanze is personal to me; I want to touch lives, help build dreams, and allow the children of Malawi to achieve those dreams. I want people to enjoy the same opportunities I have had. It is time for me to share my good luck with others. It is my sincere dream that you choose to share our mission.