Malawi Cross Party Group

The Malawi CPG heard from Tafika and partners about an exciting holistic approach

UK time 18:00 – 19:00 Malawi time 19:00 – 20:00

The live story of an innovative, multi-party collaboration, combining Malawian, Scottish and international partners was shared in the Scottish Parliament’s Malawi Cross-party Group (CPG) on June 15th. If you were unable to attend, the recording is available on this page. The online CPG heard of this exciting, community-led model spearheaded by Tafika, a volunteer youth organisation in Ekwendeni, Northern Malawi and benefitted from the perspectives and insights of each of the key partners involved. This is an holistic, system-based approach, with important cross-cutting themes and consideration of issues such as community ownership, co-ordination, sustainability, aid-dependency and collaboration, relevant to all working in the bilateral relationship.

Minutes of the previous CPG can be found here and other helpful resources can be found in the dropdowns below.


This meeting of the Malawi CPG will hear about an innovative, community-led and multi-party collaboration, spearheaded by Tafika, a volunteer youth organisation in Ekwendeni, Northern Malawi.

Co-Convener: Liam McArthur MSP

Secretary: David Hope-Jones

  • Informal Introductions - David Hope-Jones & All
  • Welcome, apologies & minutes of the last meeting - Liam McArthur MSP
  • Presentation: Tafika – Our Community’s Vision: Sharing our Story - Blesco Nyangulu, Programme Manager, Tafika
    Tafika is a Community-Based Organisation established in 1999 by the community members in Ekwendeni, Northern Malawi. The organisation envisions a youth-reliant commitment to attaining sustainable livelihoods, behaviour change and development through collaboration with other partners.
    Tafika will share their exciting, unfolding story of a community with a clear idea of what it wants to achieve, of collaboration amongst multiple NGO’s coming together to help the community realise its goals and of an innovative, holistic, system-based approach which is tackling multiple challenges simultaneously.
  • The Malawi CPG will be introduced to Speakers from five of the key organisations collaborating with Tafika, speaking predominantly from Malawi:
    - Josephine Mpango, Programme Partners Support Officer, Mary’s Meals
    - Cindee Rood, Founder and Executive Director, formidablejoy
    - Donald Mavindidze, Africa Regional Director, HarvestPlus
    - Dezie Trigu, Country Facilitator, Classrooms for Malawi
    - Willan Kalinda, Country Director, The Bananabox Trust
  • Open discussion & Q&A , Liam McArthur MSP
  • Close, Liam McArthur MSP

Tafika Briefing Note

Tafika Pictogram for Scottish Patliament

Tafika’s Aims

  1. Tackle education at a holistic level, building a system that can be expanded and which is sustainable.
  2. Build an organisation that can stand on its own two feet and which does not reply on donors for support.

Tafika quick facts

  • 18,750 volunteers
  • 545 village communities supported
  • No one gets paid
  • www.tafikamalawi.com
  • Based at Ekwaiweni northern Malawi Nearest town – Ekwendeni then Mzuzu

Tafika Sports Academy

  • 183 football teams
  • 72 netball teams
  • 6 volleyball teams, 9 rugby teams 2 basketball teams
  • Players now selected for the Malawi team at the Commonwealth Games

Tafika Contacts

  • Shupo Kumwenda – Tafika, Director
    Email : bupakumwenda@gmail.com
    WhatsApp : +265 88 865 9925
  • Blesco Nyangulu – Tafika, speaker
    WhatsApp +265 99 963 3197

The Tafika Story

This is a story of a community wanting to educate its young people and provide them with work at the end of the process. It is about starting with the very basics and then building on this foundation by recognising Youth need purpose and pride if they are to succeed.

Tafika knew they could not do this on their own so they looked for partners willing to work with them. Their success has come from actively engaging with multiple NGOs and organisation search of which has a solution for a part of their problems. This collaboration has built strong foundations for education to be successful and has also built a sports academy which gives the Youth hope and purpose and which provided the community with an opportunity to come together to watch and share the experience of sport.

The diagram on this page shows how Tafika have sought to tackle some of the many facets of education.

What makes Tafika different?

This is a community led programme of activity and at each point in the community have started by asking themselves what can they do to solve their own problems rather than looking for others to solve things for them.

Four quick examples include:

  • Self-grown feeding projects – the community provides land and labour and the donors provide inputs like seed and fertiliser. This ensures the food is in the community and the community control its distribution.
  • Income generation as part of the feeding program – realising that the donors of the inputs can not do this forever, Tafika communities are growing cash crops to start to contribute towards the seed and fertiliser.
  • Mending school equipment – most schools have a room full of broken desks next door to a room of children sitting on the floor to learn. Tafika are using their funds to send older students from the school to trades college to learn the skills to be able to mend the desks. They are working to provide a selection of donated carpentry tools for the students in exchange for labour, thereby helping the students have the tools they need to find work once their studies are complete.
  • Commercial forest - Tafika want to stand on their own two feet and don’t want to rely on donors. They have created a commercial forest using funds from sensitive UK investors who are interested in buying unverified carbon credits while at the same time generating a return on their investments. A £25,000 initial investment in the forest should yield revenues of about £25,000 a year from Year 11 and every year after that, securing Tafika’s revenue streams.

Education as a holistic problem

Tafika recognise education is a complex and intertwined system of issues. Here are some issues they face and how they are seeking to tackle them:

  • Issue: Children don’t go to school because they are hungry and can’t walk the big distances, while children who are fed concentrate and perform better.
    Tafika Solution
    : Start self-grown feeding programs, the Head Man gives land, the community provide labour and donors provide seed and fertilizer (in partnership with Mary’s Meals).
  • Issue: More nutritious food creates better results, but needs communities to change their habits and beliefs.
    Tafika Solution
    : Massive program of sensitising communities with 52 demonstration plots and hundreds of community members attending sessions as a precursor to moving towards a vitamin enriched orange maize crop. (in partnership with Harvest Plus).
  • Issue: Food needs clean water for cooking and washing.
    Tafika Solution
    : Drill new wells for schools without water, refurbish existing water infrastructure and, importantly, train local women and men to maintain the water infrastructure (in partnership with Formidable Joy).
  • Issue: Schools need infrastructure – classrooms, toilets, cooking shelters, playgrounds
    Tafika Solution
    : New classrooms built using sustainable bricks, changing hearts and minds and introducing new construction materials and stopping damage to the environment (in partnership with Classrooms for Malawi).
  • Issue: Schools need equipment – desks, books, sports equipment
    Tafika Solution
    : Partners are sought to help tackle this.
  • Issue: Schools need teachers – how do you recruit teachers to rural schools with no internet and no electricity?
    Tafika Solution
    : Partners are sought to help tackle this.
  • Issue: Successful students need hope and purpose and need to feel proud of their achievements.
    Tafika Solution
    : Tafika Sports Academy set up to give students pride and purpose. Hundreds of teams for the Youth and thousands of active participants. The Youth receive donated strips and in return are active volunteers in the food production and other activities (in partnership with BananaBox Trust).
    Tafika sponsor students to attend trades colleges to learn real world skills leading to employment.
  • Issue: Communities need to feel like they are part of something and need to feel proud of their Youth.
    Tafika Solution
    : Sport provides an opportunity for communities to come together and cheer on their Youth.
  • Issue: Community self-sufficiency. Tafika want to be able to set their own agenda and solve problems with their own funds
    Tafika Solution
    : Introduce meaningful Income Generating Activities (IGAs) using sensitive loans from UK investors. Commercial Forest project - Investors buy commoditised futures offering 10% compound rates of return along with unverified carbon credits. Hostel Project – offering investors shares and revenue sharing in a 40 bed hostel for student nurses. Malawian banks charge 25%+ annual interest rates making small and medium sized new commercial ventures extremely difficult (in partnership with Zambia and Malawi Community Partnership).

Contacts for more information

Tafika - www.tafikamalawi.com

  • Blesco Nyangulu – Speaker & Tafika Board Member
    WhatsApp +265 99 963 3197
  • Shupo Kumwenda – Director
    WhatsApp : +265 88 865 9925

Mary's Meals - www.marysmeals.org.uk

  • Josephine Mpango – Programme Partners Support Officer
    WhatsApp +265 991660884

Formidable Joy - www.formidablejoy.org

  • Cindee Rood – Executive Director
    WhatsApp +1 (323) 333 4718

Harvest Plus - www.harvestplus.org

  • Donald Mavindidze – Africa Director
    WhatsApp +254 702462989
  • Dellings Phiri – Malawi Director
    WhatsApp +265 99 996 4424

Classrooms for Malawi - www.classroomsformalwi.co.uk

  • Dezi Trigu – Malawi Country Director
    WhatsApp +265 99 986 1619

Bananabox Trust - www.bananaboxtrust.org

  • Willan Kalinda – Malawi Country Director
    WhatsApp +265 884 244573
  • Alan Laverock
    WhatsApp +265 881 373780

Zambia and Malawi Community Partnership - www.zmcpcharity.com

  • Mick & Kate James
    WhatsApp +44 (0) 7850501394

Tafika Pictogram for Scottish Patliament