The Daughters of Toleza Scholarship Fund started in August 2010 with the leftover souvenir money from six Marlboro College MBA in Managing for Sustainability graduate students on an international study trip to rural southern Malawi.
The trip was led by the Center for Nature and Leadership and hosted by Toleza Farm in Balaka, Malawi. The students studied sustainable agriculture and business strategies on Toleza Farm. While they were there, they learned about and personally observed the culture and, society of Malawi.
The students sympathized with the people living in extreme poverty lacking very basic necessities such as electricity, water, sewer, waste disposal systems, and infrastructure. They learned firsthand from the locals about the power of educating girls to raise the standard of living. Following the trip, the travelers started this fund with their leftover souvenir money.
The initial intent was to send daughters of Toleza Farm employees to school and the first round of scholarship recipients were chosen from only Toleza Farm employee daughters. However, in the second year, the Board of Advisors decided to open the pool of candidates to any girl in the Toleza Farm vicinity, regardless of whether she has a relative working at the farm.
Today, a board of seven members from four trips to Malawi continue to fundraise for scholarships and bring awareness to the need to educate girls in developing nations. The scholarship fund has eight girls enrolled in school in the 2015-2016 school year thanks to the generous donations of a growing number of supporters.