CPAR has been working in Malawi since 1990. The people of Malawi belong to various Central Bantu groups with many Bantu languages and dialects spoken. Chichewa, in the Bantu language family, is spoken by more than half of the population and is one of two official languages of Malawi, along with English.
Malawi is among the smallest countries in Africa, with Lake Malawi taking up about a third of the area.
A largely agricultural country with a rapidly increasing population, the clearing of forest for agriculture coupled with the demand for firewood has seriously depleted Malawi’s forests. Out of Malawi’s population of 16 million, 1.7 million people don’t have access to safe water, and nearly 10 million don’t maintain adequate sanitation practices. These two problems are responsible for the deaths of more than 1,700 children who perish every year due to preventable diarrheal diseases. Malawi is also plagued by other challenges, including decades of underdevelopment, governmental corruption and HIV/AIDS, which claims the lives of tens of thousands every year.
CPAR’s work in Malawi started in response to a government invitation to improve the health of community members in the Traditional Authority of Chitukula.
Today, CPAR Malawi has established itself as a leader in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene, Primary Health Care, projects related to HIV and AIDS, and food security.
In all of its programs, CPAR works in close partnership with beneficiary communities and local government representatives. CPAR’s head office is in the capital of Lilongwe, and all of the staff are Malawi nationals.
Meet Our Staff From the Lilongwe Office
Tchaka S. Thole, Malawi Country Manager
Tchaka’s favourite part of his job with CPAR is getting to visit the communities we work in and see the changes our projects make in people’s lives firsthand. When he’s not at work, Tchaka enjoys staying active, doing some mechanical work on cars and reading. He also loves taking walks in the Chikangawa forest located in the Viphya Forest Reserve.
Olivia Chifuniro Kachuma, Program Manager
When she’s not at work, Olivia enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and watching soccer on tv. For anyone visiting Malawi, she recommends attending an ingoma dance, traditionally put on by the Ngoni tribe, as well as visiting the Nyika Game Reserve in the north of Malawi; the scenery is stunning!
Kondwani Nkhonjera, Accountant
Kondwani’s passion outside of work is for the environment; he routinely volunteers to help clean up the city he lives in and does community sensitization on this as well. If you ever visit Malawi, he recommends you visit Cape Maclear as well as Bird Island. These are the best places to experience lake Malawi.
Louis K. Banda, Program Development Officer
Louis is a local pastor outside of work and enjoys speaking with members of his community regarding their faith. He also enjoys playing guitar, spending time with his family and jogging. One of his favourite things to eat is a delicious fish called “chambo” that is found in lake Malawi.
Vailet Wankhama, Office Assistant
In her free time, Vailet enjoys reading the newspaper, as well as the Bible. She also enjoys her work as it allows her to provide for her family and put food on the table. To anyone visiting Malawi, she recommends they visit the Mulanje mountain, as it is beautiful to see and has breathtaking views from the top.
John Botha, Gardener
As the gardener for the Lilongwe office, John is responsible for keeping the gardens looking beautiful and vibrant. Outside of work, John enjoys playing soccer in his local community and visiting lake Malawi when he has the chance.
Meet Our Staff From the Kasungu Office
Nelson Mfune, Project Officer
Nelson’s background is working for the Malawian Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare. In working with CPAR, Nelson hopes to gain more field experience and apply his knowledge to ensure the Green Schools Network Project gives equal opportunities to girls and boys. He is excited about the permaculture aspect of the project and looks forward to learning more about it.
Moses Jere, Field Assistant
Moses’ background is in community mobilizing – he is an expert on how to captivate audiences and how to give important messages in a way that is fun, entertaining and of course, educational. He is excited to be joining CPAR for the Green Schools Network project and looks forward to putting his skills to good use and organizing events at the project schools. Outside of work, Moses enjoys reading, watching movies and dancing.
Edith Chirwa, Office Assistant
Edith knows the importance of proper hygiene education – and how it can save lives. By starting hygiene education while young, children are less likely to get sick and will live healthier lives. Edith is very excited about this aspect of the Green Schools Network project she will take part in. When she isn’t at work, Edith loves to dance!