In 2006, when I was at college I felt compelled by God to start something that would benefit both refugees (within Dzaleka Refugee Camp) and the host community. With the help of countless individuals within and outside of Malawi, There is Hope has grown into what it is today.
The past 10 years have brought both many highs and lows for our organisation. For example, the first recreation centre we hoped to erect within Dzaleka refugee camp didn’t make it past the foundations due to a lack of funding. We now have an operational base just 200 metres down the road from Dzaleka refugee camp with staff offices, training rooms, a bible college and a multi-purpose hall. We have also seen a large increase in staff both locals and internationals.
As you can imagine, my day to day life has changed significantly since starting this journey. One of the major personal challenges has been effectively adapting to this environment. For example, understanding how to manage a team, delegating tasks and co-ordinating numerous individuals whilst maintaining a clear vision for the organisation. As God continues to provide and help overcome the obstacles our organisation has faced, my personal trust in him has increased greatly.
The main vision of There is Hope is to see refugees and their host community escape poverty and become self-reliant. We primarily aim to facilitate this by providing opportunities for these individuals within educational and occupational spheres. These include funding higher education scholarships, training in carpentry, brick laying, soap making, photography and commissioning artisans to hand craft various unique items.
In Malawi and many other African countries refugees have no right to employment and integration into local society is extremely challenging. This makes it difficult for refugees to rise above their current situation. We desire to see refugees achieve their full potential that allows them to thrive and contribute to the local community.
Refugees are resilient and they routinely push through the barriers that are put in front of them. Within the camp, they are allowed to trade or earn a living but some go even further afield to local communities for business.
In future, we wish to have more initiatives that will produce an income to sustain our charity work and create further employment opportunities for refugees and the local community. In doing so, we hope that this will reduce our charity’s dependency on foreign aid finances.
I realise this is an ambitious agenda but there’s nothing impossible if we all put our minds and hearts together. I am strongly believe that partnering with like-minded individuals and organisations will make this goal possible.
I encourage you to stay on our website for longer and read more about who we are and what we do. Look at the various programs we run and opportunity we offer for partnership, volunteering, sponsorship and see how you can help. Lets’ work together, let give HOPE together.