Dear friends and partners, thank you for coming to our website. We are incredibly happy to have the privilege of sharing with you what “There is Hope” is involved with and how we change the lives of so many refugees and Malawian people, one person at a time.
The story of “There is Hope” really begins in 1972, when our Founder, Innocent Magambi, was born a refugee in D.R Congo, while his Burundian parents fled the 1972 genocide. Innocent spent the first 27 years of his life living across five refugee camps in four different countries. The last one was Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi where after some years he received a scholarship to attain college education.
In 2006, when he was in college, Innocent felt compelled by God to start a project 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. Innocent who paved way for our new Executive Director, Cathreen Chirwa, has now gone into advocacy, advocating for refugee rights in Malawi and beyond with his organization called Innua Advocacy.
As Innocent puts it, “my day to day life had changed significantly since starting this journey. One of the major personal challenges had been effectively adapting to the 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.
We realise that this is an ambitious agenda but there’s nothing impossible if we all put our minds and hearts together. We strongly believe that partnering with like-minded individuals and organisations will make this goal possible.
We 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 opportunities we offer for partnership, volunteering, sponsorship and see how you can help. Lets’ work together, lets give HOPE together.