Our goal is the prevention and relief of poverty in Malawi. In practice this means:
- installing clean, efficient stoves
- drilling boreholes
- tackling HIV/Aids
- supporting new businesses
- creating employment through an enterprise craft project
- emergency food relief
- a sanitary project for girls
- a special needs project.
- Listening carefully
- Respecting the local
- Building slowly
- Giving encouragement.
“We are in a war with HIV and we are going to beat it.”
Peatry Ntodwa, Director of Jali Youth Center
Mbedza is the name of an area around the Mbedza river surrounded by a number of villages a few miles south west of the city of Zomba. It is a rural community where most of the inhabitants are subsistence farmers. Mbedza Projects Support was registered as a UK charity in 2015 but began its work nearly 20 years ago. Over time we have learned to listen carefully, respect the local traditions and culture and work with a great Malawian team. The work is challenging, solutions are rarely simple and life in these communities is extremely fragile.
In 2008, a survey at Mbulukuta village indicated how precarious life can be. This community of 310 children and 302 adults had, in the previous year, buried 35 adults and 46 children. Back in 2003 we asked Peatry Ntodwa, current Director of Jali Youth Center, how he would describe his country, he said:
"Malawi is a land of funerals."
It is good to be able to report that slowly this is changing. One thing that hasn't changed however is the vulnerabilities that communities face and life is very precarious. In 2015, 2016 and 2018 the harvests were poor and hunger was common.
Our first project, in 2001 was a borehole for Mbulukuta village. Over the last 17 years further projects have included boreholes, mosquito nets, agricultural training and support, an enterprise project, stove building, tree planting, a sanitary project, emergency food relief and HIV/Aids education, testing and counselling.
Julian first visited Malawi in 1997. This led him to pursue another University degree in International Studies (completed in 2016) and currently a Masters in Development Management. In 2015 he retired from a 33 year career as a Music Teacher to focus on developing the work of the charity. Julian is also Director of Khudza Mitima CIC, a company that was set up to facilitate group visits to Malawi and gap projects.
Peatry first met Julian in Malawi in 2001. They have worked together since, and Peatry co-ordinates all projects for the charity. He is Director of Mbedza Projects Support in Malawi as well as leading the work of our sister charity 'Malawian Orphans Sponsored Education Scheme'. Peatry's home is in Zomba but his second home is the UK where he has visited several times.
Nina joined the team in 2013 and along with Peatry helps coordinate our various projects. As well as liaising with community groups, chiefs and other officials, Nina supports UK visitors to Malawi and also provides guidance to those on gap projects.
Jessica has spent many months in Malawi. In 2014 she set up our gap programme and in 2015 visited Malawi for three months with the charity Progressio. Jessica is our biggest fundraiser and has run a half marathon as well as a 63 mile walk. In 2017 Jess delivered first aid training at Jali Youth Center.
Daphney works for our sister charity - MOSES - Malawian Orphans Sponsored Education Scheme. She collaborates with Peatry and Nina and is an integral part of our group visits and project work.
Harry joined the team in 2016 as Media Manager. In October 2016 he was in Malawi to make a film about the stove project and returned in April 2017 to do further filming for the Moses project.