10.06.16 / Category: Impact - School Build Projects


This post is a reflection by Betsy Pierce, one of 14 women who made the trek to Malawi this summer from the University of Tennessee. Thank you Betsy for sharing your story!

Honestly, trying to explain this Malawi Circle of Sisterhood Trek experience is far more difficult than I ever imagined. What we encountered throughout our time in Malawi was purely indescribable. An absolute life-changing experience.

For as long as I can remember, helping others has always been a passion of mine. When I found out there was an opportunity to attend a trek to help break ground on the school our Panhellenic community had fundraised for over two years, I was immediately determined to be a part of it. Little did I know what I was truly getting myself into; this was just the beginning of an eye-opening journey.


Some of the things that have really stuck with me since arriving back in the states from Malawi have been Ubuntu, the people, and the importance of education. From the time we first broke ground on the school for the village of Kwenda, we all worked together as one; us and the Kwenda community. We all shared the same excitement over the new school and realized that this would not become a reality without the teamwork between us and the community.


We all coexist with one another; Ubuntu is how interconnectedness can change humanity. Although we all come from different backgrounds and countries we are all human and together we can be so powerful with making a difference in the world. What a perfect sentiment for the Circle of Sisterhood! This may just be one school, but this one school in the village of Kwenda can be the start of something huge. If the school is built in timely matter, Kwenda will get another school build in two years. My host family sister, Edis wants to become a nurse someday. With the help of this school, she can complete her education to the best of her abilities and eventually have the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.


This is just the start of promoting something huge with women’s education worldwide. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to partake in this trek with 13 other UT women because of the Circle of Sisterhood, BuildOn staff, and most importantly the Kwenda community. You will forever hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to sharing this experience with others in effort to raise more awareness for this organization and how we can continue to work together to make a difference.

Lastly, I just want to send a huge thank you to everyone who made this trek possible, I’m so grateful for the Circle of Sisterhood, for all the work, donations, and time that went into making this all happen. Zikomo kwambiri. Thank you very much.

Have your own Circle of Sisterhood story to share? Contact Mia McCurdy at blog@circleofsisterhood.org.