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EXPAND came about from the successful completion of the Build Malawi Project that Tanya Clarke started in 2007. At the time, BMP worked under Action for the Benefit of Children (ABC) a small UK and Malawian charity.
Expand was registered in 2010 (UK charity # 1137120) to expand its scope and projects further, and has had such a brilliant journey over this time. Check out our projects page and see more about what we have done in Malawi.
Malawi, the Warm heart of Africa, is to many one of the most peaceful countries in the African continent. Those who visit it quickly fall in love with its nature and its people.
It is a small, landlocked country in southeastern Africa and is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great rift valley and enormous Lake Malawi. It was a former British colony and the national language is English. It has many dialects amongst Malawians, and the main tribes are the Chewas, Yaos, Tumbukas, and Tongas..
President: Lazarus Chakwera
Population: 20 million (2020 – Estimate)
Currency: Malawian kwacha
GDP per capita: 642 USD (World Bank)
The country, however, is one of the poorest in the world with high HIV rates and limited infrastructure development. One of the contradictions is that whilst having excellent knowledge and experience in agriculture, being traditionally a tobacco- exporting nation, many people live on less than a $1/ day with poor nutritional diets.
However, many would argue that whilst industrialization is important in generating money in today’s modern world, it has also contributed to the pollution of our planet and an individualistic mentality. Malawi has serious potential to be a leader in the ‘green’ movements with its sunshine and abundance of fresh water, and is charmingly community- based by nature. Malawians will smile, meet and greet you at every turn and it is politically stable and peaceful which should not be overlooked.
TANYA CLARKE - Founder and trustee. Tanya is the founder of Expand and set up the Build Malawi Project in 2007, her first project in Malawi. When this was completed, she set up her UK charity, Expand, and decided to stay in Malawi for good. She established her first business, an essential oil plantation, in the Mzimba District and now has another business in the Central region. She continues her philanthropy work through Expand that focuses on construction of education facilities and trainings.
TAMSIN CLARKE - Secretary and trustee. Tamsin (Tanya's sister) has her own theatre company, Popelei under which she creates award-winning theatre productions in the UK. She volunteered for The Great Football Giveaway and Build Malawi in 2006/7 and Malawi is close to her heart. She is aiming to bring some theatre projects/workshops over to Malawi soon.
BRENDAN COSTELLOE - I first had the privilege of visiting Tanya in Malawi in 2008, when I was able to spend a few months volunteering. I was immediately taken in, both by the work the team were doing, and by the wonderful community they were working with. Ever since, I’ve been raising money wherever I can – so that Expand can carry on helping some of the poorest (yet kindest) communities in the world. If anyone has the opportunity to go out and volunteer with any of the projects – I’d highly recommend it!
NEBSON CHILOKO - Malawian trustee. Nebson is the Malawian Director of Kawandama Hills Plantation in Northern Malawi and works closely with Tanya. He is instrumental in guiding and advising on local issues and culture that has enabled Expand to become a well- respected organization in Malawi.
Thanks and Links
CIL - Expand would like to say a HUGE thanks to CIL for the ongoing help and support with our education projects. They have been instrumental in the building of all the Mkoko School projects. We would be lost without them!
KAWANDAMA HILLS - A vital lifeline for Expand is the Kawandama Hills Plantation who have helped us build the nursery and school at Mkoko. The school now has over 80 children as well as 8 qualified teachers.
ST GILES - We are so grateful to St Giles for their continued support of Expand for the past 4 years. They have helped build the Sports centre, the library and donated countless books and IT equiptment.
THE GREAT FOOTBALL GIVEAWAY - Thanks to these guys and their fantastic vision for a playful Malawi, our founder and secretary first experienced the wonder that is Malawi. They have supported Expand with donations and sports equiptment.
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