Made for Kids: Malawi


JoAnn Staten
David Russell


Jacaranda Foundation


Marie Da Silva, Founder, Jacaranda Foundation
Luc Deschamps, Executive Director, Jacaranda Foundation

Otis students partner with the Jacaranda School for Orphans and learn how to work within a global studio to conceive of and execute diverse community projects . The culmination of the course results in 2-week immersion program where students learn first-hand about the history and culture of Malawi. Students tour the Society of Malawi and the Jacaranda Cultural Center, visit the Museum of Malawi, receive academic lectures, spend a night at Game Haven on a safari to learn about local wildlife, and work on-site at the Jacaranda School to implement the projects developed throughout the semester.


With the goal of utilizing the methodologies and methods of art and design to positively affect the that address the community and school's pressing needs. Students learn to think conceptually about issues from multiple points of view; conduct projects outside the traditional boundaries of the classroom; work in service of and in collaboration with clients; and gain experience in writing proposals, generating budgets and taking a “real” project from concept through completion.


Embarking on our 4th year of partnership with the Jacaranda Foundation, Otis College Creative Action Program and the Otis Students have been able to implement the following projects: Community Chess Board, Community Mural, Ceramics Program along with a permanently built fire burning urn, Doll Program: early entrepreneurship opportunity, Establishment of a Girls Support Group, Establishment of A Women's Support Group, Fashion Design Program with installation of Sewing Classroom, Meditation Garden, Water Well. 

            *** Special thanks to Marie Da Silva and Luc Deschamps for their vision, passion and commitment to helping the children of Malawi and for extending their hand in friendship and partnership to the OTIS Creative Action  Program.  And a warm thank you to all the OTIS College students who have participated in the course throughout the years making a real difference in the lives of children with their art and design skills.