Kerri Olson

Headed to Malawi (East Africa): Project Start July 2, 2023

Malawi is consistently ranked among the world’s 20 least developed countries on the UN Human Development Index. Seventy-one percent of the country’s population lives below the poverty line of US $1.90 a day. Nearly half of primary school-age children dropout before advancing to secondary school and the literacy rate in Malawi is only 62% among people 15 years old and older.

Team Dayā is scheduled to start its school groundbreaking in Malawi on Sunday, July 2, 2023. If you are interested in learning more, or possibly traveling with us to work on the groundbreaking, please contact us.

Kerri Olson – Rye, New York

Bio: Kerri has worked in Marketing and Corporate Planning roles for ACNielsen, Land Rover, and Dun & Bradstreet in Europe and the United States.  She volunteers as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters, and is a member of Impact100, a collective giving organization that engages women in active philanthropy.

Why: I believe strongly in the importance of education as a means to break the cycle of poverty.  At a young age I had the experience of living in a country where many children didn’t have the opportunity to attend school.  I’ve seen first-hand how this challenge can cascade down from generation to generation, and also how transformative access to education can be for a community.  When the community also commits to sending boys and girls to school in equal numbers and offer adult literacy classes too, (as with the Team Daya model) then the impact of one new school can be exponential. 

I’m very excited about joining this particular school-building trip because I have a personal connection to Malawi.  My family and I lived in Blantyre, Malawi for two years when I was very young.  My father was a diplomat assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Malawi, and I have a special memory of accompanying him to the inauguration of a new school in a remote village. I feel deeply grateful to have this opportunity to return to Malawi many years later and play a small part in continuing to improve access to education for a new generation of children. 

More: LinkedIn