The Nchima (pronounced ‘Encheema’) Trust is a small charity, originally founded in 1962 by the Gardiner family.
The Nchima Trust only provides funds for projects within Malawi. Donations are presently concentrated on Health, Education, Orphan Support and a thriving Community Centre at Thyolo. The Trust has developed a strong focus on sponsoring education.
Donations are targeted and monitored carefully. On the ground in Malawi we have a several unpaid volunteers who ensure that all funding is spent
appropriately. The volunteers meet student beneficiaries regularly to obtain feedback on their progress, oversee projects and distribute items listed in the gift list
We try very hard to ensure that as much of the money we spend, is spent on beneficiaries. We minimise admin and associated expenses. We are very lucky to have a number of volunteers (some ex Nchima beneficiaries) on the ground in Malawi and a vehicle for transprt.
The Nchima Trust has no paid employees, though reasonable expenses are paid to ensure that people are not out of pocket.
Its early operations were in the Thyolo and Blantyre districts in the Southern Region of Malawi. Later the Trust extended its activities to meet the needs of individuals and communities throughout the country.
The Nchima Trust targets its funds and donations in a very direct manner, ensuring that the money gets to the causes and people intended. We fund the training of between 20 and 40 university and vocational college students each year plus up to 100 secondary school students. We also set up and support the Nchima Trust Centre where we host and encourage various entrepreneurial activities such as the card makers.
We focus heavily on the education of young women and girls and our innovative school feeding project (see Page 2 – Ntambanyama) which has been running well for a few years, supported by Sibford School (Oxon), has had a very significant impact upon pass rates for girls at schooling age.
By way of example, we once had a 15 year old orphan referred to us. He had no family to support him and found work on a farm. He was a good worker but once the farmer discovered that he was below the legal age of employment, he had no choice but to dismiss him. Feeling that the boy deserved more, the farmer made contact with the Nchima Trust volunteer in Malawi and within a fortnight the boy had been found a good boarding school and we dropped him off at the school with a blanket, soap, toothpaste and other essentials. 3 weeks later he called to say how happy he was and asked for his bus fare to the school football match as he had been selected for the school’s first eleven! Our presence, reputation and network of supporters on the ground enable the Trust to react quickly and effectively and to follow up.