In 2018, Mercy Kafotokoza connected with a community she knows well, Nkhafi Village, Traditional Authority Chakhaza in Malawi, to facilitate a conversation about development priorities. To her surprise, she learned that what the village prioritized most was having a library. With $5,000 from World Connect, more than $3,500 in co-investment from the community, and an additional $5,000 in leveraged investment from the Segal Family Foundation, a World Connect partner in Malawi, Mercy oversaw the construction of the Ebenezer Community Library, the only community library and study space in an area with a population of 156,985 people.
The Ebenezer Community Library was opened in July 2019 providing study space to primary, secondary and university students, as well as solar power to keep students connected. The library sees an average of 85 students per day. Aside from these students, the library is also open to adults who access health education materials and newspapers to keep themselves updated on events in the country, with records showing over 100 additional visitors per week. The library has also created employment for three community members full time, who have been trained in library and information services.
In 2019, Mercy, through her organization, "Wandikweza," again worked with the community to win an additional grant, this time $10,000 for construction of a Community Youth Center in Nkhafi village, providing HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, family planning, and primary health care, and impacting 1,440 people per month.
Mercy says, "World Connect believed in the community's vision of an educated community, and now that belief has led them to greater success, achieving access to primary health care. World Connect investment has truly unlocked our potential, these efforts are life changing and sustainable."