Robert Burns

Founder of Kasimu Education Fund (KEF) in Manyesa, Malawi

Robert Burns (former fire chief in Mountain View CA) and his late wife Mary started the Kasimu Education Fund (KEF) in Manyesa, Malawi over 10 years ago to focus on development of education as the primary basis for economic and life-needs improvement (kefmalawi.com.)  KEF has been successful in providing high school scholarships, elementary school facilities, training teachers, providing a daily meal for 1,300 elementary school students, initiating a preschool, and planning for the construction and operation of a high school with a solar/wind powered electrical and water systems. The essential part of the program is to empower the villagers to develop and self-manage these improvements. The financial requirements of the villages will be met through a micro-finance program which is currently supporting 190 small businesses and 240 farmers (via seed and fertilizer). The primary emphasis is now to create funding sources to maintain education improvements and self-supporting operations. This will include businesses owned and operated by the elementary and secondary schools such as: a maize grind mill; a drip system irrigation program to enable three crops per year; an animal husbandry program and tree planting program to improve dietary alternatives and improve the soil