The Jacaranda School for Orphans, located outside of Limbe, Malawi, was founded by Marie Da Silva. The school and its supporting foundation are named after the jacaranda tree, a tree that blossomed outside the hospital window of Marie’s father who died in 1997. To Marie, the jacaranda tree symbolizes life, growth and hope, important symbols for her students, orphans and underprivileged children, for whom she aims to provide a future.

In 2002, while working as a nanny in the U.S., Marie learned that the school in her hometown was going to close. Knowing firsthand the affects of HIV/AIDS on families and children, she urged her mother to let the students gather and learn in their family home using Marie’s financial support from abroad. She wanted to provide the most vulnerable children, children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS, with a quality education and supportive services.

Marie now lives in Malawi and runs the school with her husband and Executive Director Luc Deschamps.