What is Good Soil Partners?
Good Soil Partners is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization registered in the United States that works hand-in-hand with Good Soil Partners in Malawi, which is registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Malawi. We work together to support Malawian youth in all areas of their lives. Our goal is to educate the youth of Malawi to help them grow into leaders in their community and then partner with Good Soil Partners to build a better, stronger future in Malawi.
What does it mean to be a partner of Good Soil Partners?
A partner is someone who has earned a spot through leadership development to help lead this organization into the future. A partner gives back to others through the organization with financial resources or volunteerism.
What does Good Soil do?
We provide educational scholarships to young people from secondary school through college. We also provide leadership training and emotional support to young people through the difficult periods of their teens and college years. Good Soil provides direction and guidance in the job market to help the youth of Malawi succeed beyond their education.
How did Good Soil start?
A family from the United States visited Malawi in 2010 and experienced first-hand the struggles and battles that the children of Malawi face day-to-day. Good Soil Partners was formed to help the children of Malawi succeed ever since.
Why help children in Malawi?
Malawi is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world where most people live below the poverty line. A lack of education and opportunity make it almost impossible for young people to overcome the barriers for achieving a more successful future. All young people deserve access to education, food, hope for a brighter future, and, most of all, love in order to thrive and succeed. We believe there is no better feeling than knowing that you are making a difference in a young person’s life.
How can I attend a Good Soil trip to Malawi?
Please email our trip director, Cindy Chartier, at CChartier@goodsoilpartners.org. She can provide you details about our trips to Malawi and let you know when the next trip is planned.
How much does a trip cost?
Trips range between $4,500US to $5,500US depending on the length and what adventures are planned for that trip. Some adventures that can be planned on trips are a safari in Zambia, a trip to Lake Malawi, or traveling around Malawi to different sites.
What will I do on my trip?
A Good Soil trip is designed to give you a real sense of what life is like in rural Malawi. We stay in a local village, and we do as the villagers do. We work together to complete tasks and projects that need to be accomplished for that trip. We visit our sponsored youth and update information on them. We visit surrounding communities and check up on how our programs are working. All trips are planned ahead of time and travelers know what they will be doing before we arrive.
Can children attend trips?
Our trips to Malawi are not easy. Accommodations have no running water and spotty electricity. Food in the village is not what children in America are used to. Due to these factors, we only allow children 13 years old or older on our trips. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, you need a passport to visit Malawi. Your passport must have an expiration date of no less then 6 months and an open visa page. You will have to purchase a visa at the airport when you arrive in Malawi for $75US.
Is there running water and electricity?
No, there is no running water and very little electricity when staying in the village. We bring separate battery packs to charge electronics when electricity is down. These things will be further explained if you attend a trip.
What should I wear on a trip?
When we travel to Malawi, we follow the culture. Women in Malawi, wear long skirts that cover below the knee. Tank tops and t-shirts are fine to wear but your stomach has to be covered. Men can wear shorts and or pants. Sweatshirts are needed in the mornings and when the sun sets in the evening. Shoes should cover your feet—no open toes. A packing list will be given before you attend a trip.
Are there wild animals roaming around?
No, wild animals are mostly in the game reserves. We are not close to a reserve so we do not see wild animals. Wild dogs are part of the village. If you stay away from them, they usually don’t bother you. We will give some suggestions on the trip to keep them away. Dogs in Malawi are not house pets. They are guard dogs and should be respected.
Why should I choose Good Soil Partners for sponsoring a student?
Good Soil Partners has supported hundreds of students since 2010 through various programs and scholarships. We invest in students who want to make a change and become future leaders in their country. We also empower them to succeed so that they can partner with us to build a stronger, sustainable organization. We are a grass-roots organization where we have a relationship with each of our students. Our philosophy and programs for “Planting Seeds of Hope” have been very successful in helping students reach their potential, giving them access to future economic and personal success. Good Soil Partners is the foundation for transforming our students into the future leaders of Malawi.
Will my sponsored student write to me?
If you choose to sponsor a student, you will receive updates on a quarterly basis from the website.
Are other people sponsoring the same student?
People may be sponsoring the same student depending on your total donation and the cost of the student’s school and examination fees, school supplies and uniforms, and basic needs of secondary students. College students may also have more than one sponsor due to cost of tuition fees, the stipend for boarding and food, writing materials, and a computer.
What does my donation go toward?
Your donation will go toward student tuition. We support children in secondary (high) schools and in colleges. All students were chosen based on their high academic abilities, passing government exams, and an application process completed by the Good Soil Partners Board of Directors and a local advisory person. The costs involved for each student is based on their particular circumstances. Some of the items we provide include tuition, room and board, food, school supplies and fees, school uniforms, computers, leadership training, and career and development opportunities.
How long will I sponsor the same student?
The length of sponsorship for a student is your choice. We are thankful for the donations we receive. Good Soil Partners would be grateful to receive sponsorships that follow a student through his or her entire education either in secondary or college/higher education. Sponsoring a young person from their teenage years all the way through to being productive and thriving adults is key to the future of Malawi.