Twenty two year old Gift Thompson, a resident of the STEKA home (and our youngest trustee), has secured a STEKAskills micro loan to set up a social enterprise aimed at paying school fees for his bothers and sisters in Malawi. He used his loan to buy beautiful Christmas decorations made by his friends . Every penny of profit will be used to educate his bothers and sisters who have all been welcomed into the STEKA family and the STEKA care home because they are unable to live with their biological families.
Gift is studying Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University on a scholarship basis resulting from a special relationship between STEKAskills, STEKA and the University.
" Studying at a Scottish university is a dream come true for me, but I know that in Malawi, even if people desperately want to be educated, without money for school fees, it just won't happen. I live in one of the poorest countries in the world - only a small percentage can afford to complete primary school and less than 1% can go to univerity. I see how hard Godknows and Helen struggle every single day to try and get school fees for all of us at STEKA - but finding money for 73 of us is hard; and it's not just the fees - we also need unifoms, school shoes and food."
"But we are resilient - we don't stop trying to find a way just because we're poor. And sourcing and selling these decorations is my way of fighting for my family and other street kids and survivors of trafficking and abuse to get some of the opportunities I've been given by STEKA sending me to school and now QMU and STEKAskills giving me a university education".
Our decorations are unique and exquisite - and they all come with a tag explaining the difference they make, so they're perfect gifts. The pictures above and below show one of the beaders, George, and his apprentice who will benefit from the sales as well as STEKA's Happiness who will benefit from having school fees paid and Gift hoping that his venture will be a success.