Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.comDrop Down Menu

Change a life!
Educate a Child

Like to become part of TAFA or learn more of how you can make a difference? - email me - Barry - "touchandfeelafrica (at)"

Friday, 3 January 2020

In tribute to Joaquin Mtambo, brother to Richard and Brenda
husband and father with 4 girls

Joaquin passed 2 weeks ago, after a fall on his way home

We are all thinking of you,
and are working to help with a little support
so everyone can move forward
and deal with such a great loss


are some of "events" of the past couple of months

Tusa: Back at university and in his 3rd year studying Alternative Energy. Very nice Tusa!

Richard: Things are going well at Capital Radio, and Richard continues his work and research into equipment at the radio station, repairing phones and electronics and working in TAFA R&D on some potentially wonderful equipment

Jacco: Lord Jacco, as he is affectionately called... congratulations on the building of your new house and having the roof completed. And getting all the fees and expenses out to all the TAFAians

Gracious: So very sorry about the robbery and the loss of the stock in your shop. This is devastating for all. We are a team working on a comeback, but it is not easy for you, we know. We appreciate all your efforts to keep the farming projects successful and to see all the different ways you have to create business income. You are an inpiration to us all.

Steve: Continuing at Mzuzu University to obtain his Registered Nurse Degree. Proud of you doing this Steve as well as looking after your family so they can complete school too

Biko: Dr. Biko as you have been renamed. The pleasure is all ours to see not only your excellence in your medical studies, but your interests in life, including philosphy, religion and human rights.

Monica: Into the home stretch. Soon to be graduated and out to help sustain and educate Malawians with their agricultural needs

Austin: Congratulations on your graduation in Agriculture! We are so excited for you, and for your continued input into the farming TAFA is currently engaged in.

Winnie: So good to have you join TAFA in your pursuit of a nursing degee. You have overcome great obstacles to do this.

Thomas: Wow, one of the first people associated with TAFA. We are so proud to be able to assist you with your endeavour to become a fine chef and have a career to help support your family. Your working so hard to come up with so much of your fees shows such great commitment to it all.

Elia: Working on your career after last months graduation. Is a challenge and we look forward as a team to see where it takes you

Chisomo: Now back after your time in South Africa. Welcome home to Malawi. We look forward to having you do the electrical on Jacco's house and find other business opportunities that will continue with your successes. Your focus and true hardwork has been an inspiration to all of us TAFAians over the years. You start in the most difficult of situations, and truly make a success of it all

Lutengano: Good to see the success of your working in the courts. Trying to raise your two daughters, new place to live and work and dealing with all the situations has not been easy

Laston: Always so good to see your success at running the kitchen of a fine restaurant in Dar.

and to all the other TAFAians, that have struggled, had successes, and great tragedies in 2019. We are with you in our prayers for your goals and wishes for 2020. May we continue our walks together, support each other through the tough times, and learn and celebrate with each other in our good times!

And with great thanks to the Borgen Family, Joe Read, Milo Gach, Sri Perera and others for their continuous and generous funding to have much of this happen.


Friday, 5 November 2019

are some of "events" of the past couple of months

Tusa: Back at university and in his 3rd year studying Alternative Energy. Very nice Tusa!

Richard: So proud that you now have dealt with the "headache" of multiple job offers! Congratulations with your position at Capital Radio!

Jacco: Yes, being honoured as the shop you run as on of the top "wholesale" shops of the company is wonderful! And also, the construction of your house in Mzuzu makes us all proud!

Gracious: Being honoured by ABE last week in the Graduation Ceremony was something 8 years ago we would have thought was hardly possible. You have come so far, and will all your businesses.

Steve: How remarkable you are. Finished nurses training over 2 years ago, joined the Army to get placed in a hospital, and now back at Mzuzu University to get your Registered Nurse Degree.

Biko: Wow, already in your first year of Medical School! We are watching and all so proud.

Monica: Finished your practical and back to your final year studying Agriculture. Yes, you too... completing what 8 years ago would have been thought impossible by us.

And with great thanks to the Borgen Family and Joe Read for their continuous and generous funding to have much of this happen.



Friday, 28 June 2019

are some of "events" of the past couple of months

Tusa: At university and completing his exams. So far, very nice Tusa!

Richard: So proud that you now have the "headache" of multiple job offers! Certainly the type of headache anyone might look forward too.

Gracious: For ever the "rock" for keep so much alive and functioning for TAFA and your own businesses. Congratulations on the maize harvest! Not only have you successfully grown and harvested the crop, seems there is going to be a bit of profit for the participants to share in.

You have been through another huge blood donorship for your sister Royce, (with sickle cell), which certainly impacts your health and stamina, you have been working with your import businesses, with some huge challenges, and keeping your store operating, all while being "father" to a couple of boys and your sister. Accomplishments to be sure.

Lutengano: My heart has gone out to you over the last 2 months, and all the huge emotional feelings of your family and the situation. You have pulled through, with little thanks to the Malawi government, who offers you your salary and expenses, but is so slow in paying them. Your care for your young daughters and their well being is remarkable. I commend you so much.

Jacco: The TAFA banker and distributor of the esteemed kwacha. Thanks for keeping it all together and being sure everyone get their needed expense money. Again so flawless. And your accounting help with Gracious's business. Without you we would have all failed.

Atupele: So proud you have prepared so well to write you MSCE exams. Truly wishing you the best.

Monica: You are so quiet but in our hearts and minds. Your papers on Fertilizer distribution and how it functions and does not function in Malawi are remarkable. I look forward to the day that you can administer some of these programmes and truly have them work the way they are intended.

Chisomo: You make me laugh and have such big smiles. The pictures today of the large air conditioning project you are working on is amazing. So sorry it is a bit cold at night and in the morning in South Africa.

Jay and Vincent: You are keeping Gracious shop running well. It seems you have "grown" much in the last couple of years, to really be able to start looking after yourself after having such terribly hard times.

Steve: I may have had second thoughts of you joining the army and working as an army nurse... but my fears were for naught. You have truly excelled, and truly supported your family and kept everyone, not only in school, but in college. Your application to go back to university is exciting. Now we must truly figure out the funding. You are so admired for how you are not only helping yourself move dramatically forward but all of your family too.

Meanward: Wow, your new house in Mzuzu looks remarkable. To think you have not only been able to support yourself and grow your skills over the last few years, you have even now complete your 3 bedroom house, almost ready for you to move in to. So sorry, that at the moment work is not keeping you busy and times are a bit tough, but your pass indicates you will soon be over this hurdle too.

Isaac: One of the first TAFAians, and one who always made me feel so welcome in Nkhata Bay! Good to see you active with your business in Mzuzu. Hope it continues to do well. And most importantly, is so good to hear from you so much more these days.

Biko: Working through the tragedy of the cancellation of your scholarship. Such a challenge and truly hard and frustrating. I want to thank you for the story of your life. After reading what you have been through, I have no doubt that althought the last month as been extremely tough, you will fly once again.

Laston: So good to be regularily in touch sir. Also so wonderful to see the skills you have in cooking and running a restaurant kitchen. Proud of you, and really looking forward to being in Dar and tasting your food before you move back to Malawi.



Thursday, 14 March 2019

a truly amazing movie, filmed in Malawi
in both Chichewa and English
based on the original true story novel

explains so much

From the BBC and Netflix
truly excellent


TAFAians have been busy finding the movie,
downloading, copying from friends or even from a few libraries


So very, very sorry Jacco

With so much sadness on the passing of Jacco's grandfather last week in Chintheche. Jacco's grandfather and grandmum raised him from the age of 7, when he parents passed. Truly one of Jacco's best friends in life


but certainly not a break from creating next months goals

Tusa: At his uncle's in Lilongwe for the break after the completing his term at University. He is working on an electrical project to bring power when the power has failed... and tomorrow he meets Richard who is bringing the movie, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Hope it is inspirational

Richard: Continues his work at AirTel and looking at possibly studying in India.

Gracious: CONGRATULATIONS!! on your completion of your ABE Business School Curriculum and exams. With another distinction. All while running his shop, looking after the "kids from the streets", his mum's sickness in hospital and overall supervision of TAFA projects

Lutengano: CONGRATULATIONS on getting your certificate and completion of your law programme. You have impressed us so. May it go well for your application this month for your position of Magistrate

Jacco: Your hundreds of chickens are gone. At a good profit... this was truly a well thought out enterprise. And assisting your niece to Kunyanja Private, truly remarkable and when you have so little

Monica: So happy your university studies are going well after your recent break at home in Nkhata Bay

Atupele: Following in your brother Gracious's footsteps. You are making us all very proud of your secondary school performance

Robson: On break from studies at the University of Mzuzu. Your focus has been so admirable

Chisomo: Thanks for keeping in touch and letting us know how it is going in South Africa. So good to hear such wonderful stories of successes and putting some money in your pockets. Your ingenuity and focus are most incredible

Malita and Canaan: Wishing you the best with your farming with your uncle and Gracious. Between the droughts and the floods, you just keep moving right along

Jay and Vincent: So proud of you guys!! From being on the streets, to helping Gracious with his sales and shops. Your enthusiasm and laughter help is all to make this all a success

Steve: What can I say... if everyone in the world cared as much as you do, and worked so hard to look after your Mum and brothers and sisters. So proud of you! Hard to imagine you can support your brothers to University and to private Secondary School. You are my dream come true sir! Although I truly know that so many of your days are so stressed and feel more like a nightmare.


New Poetry from Ephraim Matembo


As the time goes,
We forsake our beautiful innocent parents
That planted foundation stone of achievements in us
And bow down for Delilahs of today.

As the time goes,
Leaders assume we don't feel pain
Because we never shade a tear
Yet our shouting for help...
Bought plots on front pages of our newspapers

As the time goes,
Eagle's eye witness our true brothers hardening hearts
unscrewing body parts of innocent souls
Yet failing to harden hearts
to hook out greedy and corrupt politicians with their golden vote

As the time goes,
We type,print & photocopy into our minds
That education is not a key to success
But a permission to rape any law
Without being arrested.

By Ephraim WMA Matembo
more of Emphraim's poems here!

Congratulations on your appointment to the position of Headmaster at Kamubale school! You have obviously impressed a few people and done an amazing job to get such an appointment so early in your life and teaching career


Thursday, 3 January 2019

our dreams are certainly coming true
TAFAians are now assisting others
first a learner, then student, college student, business person,
and now making some money to support others

It's a new year..
and much has changed in many TAFAians lives:

Richard with Lutengano behind him

With his law training completed, Lutengano is now working as a court clerk while waiting for the approval of his application to become a Magistrate


Now finished his internship at at radio station in Blantyre, after working on cell towers and communications equipment.. His first day of actual work was today, as he has started with a position at AirTel. Congratulations Richard!

Richard at the AirTel company Christmas party seeing and tasting food
he has never seen before


Gracious and Shem at the beach

Continues with AXE Industries, and all his small businesses, from popcorn sales, to fashion and this year some duvets for Christmas sales.

Vincent/ Jay
The "Boyz" as we call them, who were both homeless when Gracious found them, are slowing moving forward with their lives. They both work for Gracious in his business AXE Industries, and are becoming good with their sales of clothing and duvets as well as running the popcorn machine.

Malita and Canaan
Two of our "rescued" students, brother and sister, abandoned when their parents left them and went to South Africa. Canaan has been working on the farm during the planting time.

Gracious's sister, now living with him in Mzuzu and attending school in Mzuzu.

She is back studying at the university and enrolled in her 3rd year

After returning to University, along with his fellow students, they were able to overturn a requirement, that if you failed one course, you needed to repeat you year. Am most proud of Tusa and his classmates for the effort and focus they put into this situation. He is now working on completing his requirements in Alternative Energy, year 2.

Back at University in Dar es Salaam

Gracious with Robson (behind) at the TAFA Christmas Party

Taking librarian training at Mzuzu University

Making us all so very proud as he continues with his nursing career in the Malawian Army. He has taken the financial responsibility to help his brothers go school, a daunting task. He is also our "doctor" in residence, helping us diagnose and the best medications to help with the help needs of the TAFAians and their families.


Victor out on a photo shoot

His endeavors to assist poor students to attend school is so commendable, especially considering his own living/financial situation. He has found he truly is a professional grade photographer, and has embarked on a career both to do journalistic photo work as well as being hired for weddings and special events.

Victor's photos above


Continues serving TAFA by looking after all the disbursements and recording the TAFA money - flawlessly. His business ventures with Gracious, selling duvets are beginning to show results


Christmas Party

Jacco with Rusk (former head teacher at GLECS Business School
and TAFA mentor - at the TAFA Christmas Party

It was a special time on the 22nd December, as 15 TAFAians got together to celebrate the Christmas Holidays and have a reunion. Nice to see everyone together that could be in Mzuzu.


(Richard's sister) with their Grandmum at Christmas


Monday, 10 September 2018

coming up on the anniversary of TAFA
first student assisted to school
10 October 2010


These are the events of the last few months:

last week

Edgar "Biko" Simpokolwe

Biko has just arrived at University in Blantyre to follow his dream of becoming a doctor/surgeon. We are wishing him the very best and support to achieve this ambitious dream. Biko has been blessed in life with a "good brain", which means he has scored one of the best MSCE results I have ever seen. People like Biko give me hope for the future of Malawi and the world. Let's just keep making it work Mr Biko!


Gracious at his new clothing shop in Mzuzu

As ever, Mr Gracious has embarked upon an additional business. This time a clothing shop in Mzuzu. He has been selling items he selectively purchased on his way through Dar es Salaam, on his way back from visiting Kampala, Uganda. We are admiring you very much Mr Gracious!!


Gracious with his popcorn maker in Mzuzu

Yet another business, where Gracious employs the "boyz he has rescued" off the streets of Mzuzu and put in school



Jacco visiting with Gracious, supporting him
with the hospitalization of Royce

Jacco has travelled from Chitipa to Karonga for the weekend to help Gracious with his sister Royce, who has been in the hospital, on a respirator, dealing with Sickle Cell. This is difficult for all. Not only very painful and life threatning, Gracious must also donate a large quantity of blood to help Royce counter the effects of the Sickle Cell. This is very draining and tiring for Gracious in the following days. As a team, we are working hard to get Royce well and home from the hospital as soon as possible


Royce and her sister, on the bed at the Karonga hospital

As Gracious puts it, the first smile from Royce in a few weeks!


Madalitso in his school kitchen in South Africa

So very good to be in conversation with Madalitso, as he continues to be the chef at a private secondary school in South Africa. Madalitso was one of the first people to work with TAFA nearly 8 years ago.


Madalitso in his school kitchen in South Africa


Richard, where are you? Up the tower?

Most proud of you Richard! Richard has just started his internships after completing 2 years of Communications Engineering at the Unversity of Malawi, Polytechnic. He has been working at a radio station and learning maintenance of the communications towers. Glad to hear you loved climbing trees as a boy Richard!

the "insides" of a mixer at the radio station

Richard has been working on the equipment at the radio station and learning how it all works. We did not tell you that last month, he fixed his own cell phone by separating the screen and the touch pad, buying a new touch pad and putting it all back together... and most importantly, it all works!!


Up the communications tower

Steve, been a long quest to getting posted in a hospital

After graduating as a nurse/midwife, and working as a pharmacist, waiting to a hospital position, Steve is finally got his position in an army hospital. To do this, he had to join the army, do basic training, then work for 6 months in the army. Congratulations Steve!


Calculating the distance/time and "agony" of
Gracious journey to Kampala, Uganda to visit Kalyebi

Gracious was invited by Kalyebi to come for a visit to Kampala in June. Kaleybi was most generous to offer Gracious a place to stay, food and some tours around the city of Kamapala and the neighbouring areas.


Gracious have supper with some of the people he met in Kampala

It was an amazing journey for Gracious! First time "long distance" travelling and figuring it all out. He was rewarded with seeing a 3D movie (there isn't even a regular movie theatre in Malawi), enjoying "spicy food" of the Ugandans, exploring Kampala and its businesses and experiencing some of the projects that Kalyebi is working on during his break from University.


Elia and Gracious visiting together in Dar es Salaam
as Gracious travels home to Malawi

Elia and Gracious got to spend some time together in Dar, where Elia is going to University. Elia escorted Gracious around to see the markets to buy stock for his clothing store and to experience the "big city" life of Dar.

Elia in Dar

Elia was preparing for his break from University and travelled home to Mbeya with Gracious.


Gracious and Elia celebrating life together at the beach in Dar


Biko and Richard getting to know each other

As an important tradition of TAFA, there is a period of meeting new TAFAians... Richard and Biko get to spend time together in Blantyre where they are both going to University. And Biko learned a bit about TAFA


Jacco, the "Lord of TAFA money" at the gym in Mzuzu

Jacco works out, as he carries on his duties of financial responsibility for dispersing the money for TAFA for the students and businesses and accurately recording in the "weekly spender". Thanks for being so flawless and timely with all your help Jacco

Brenda Mtambo, Richard's sister

As a nun, university student and great supporter of her brother Richard, Brenda has become a special TAFIAN for her contributions. We at TAFA thank her and assisted her to visit her mum in Chitipa 2 weeks ago, the first time she had seen her mum in over 3 years. We just learned yesterday, that Brenda is being assigned by the church to Chitipa in the next weeks. We are so happy for the outcome!


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Tusa on his University Field Trip last week

Tusa learned that the dam project was both a financial and ecological disaster. Image poor planning any one?.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

TAFAians celebrate with a chicken feast!

Jay, Vincent, Gracious, Canaan, Jacco
(missing Malita, as she has travelled with her grandmum to the hospital in Lilongwe)

A time for the "team" to celebrate in what is so often a challenging life,
all round


so very proud of you Lutengano!
you persevere through it all, with so little
and make it work

You will certainly make an understanding
and fair lawyer and then as a judge in the Malawi courts one day


King Jacco of Football - May the TAFA leader win all his games


Gracious with his mother in Karonga


Saturday, 19 May 2018

more exams... more graduations! :):)

Tusa on break with Gracious

Tusa is again back at University, studying for his finals. Floods in Malawi made his journey a little longer to get back to school.


Steve at his graduation from Military School

Steve is now posted in Mzuzu and will be back at nursing in the military hospital soon.


Robson and some classmates

Robson has been working at a new job.. selling bets. Part of his training class in Lilongwe


Robson's class

Robson's class for his position selling "gaming bets"



Richard in his last semester at University of Malawi, Polytechnic, studying hard for his finals and graduation as a Communications Engineer

The lab Richard works from at University


Richard's circuit boards for his project


Monica with her new computer at the bus depot
on her way back to University

Monica is back at University after a break visiting her home and family in Nkhata Bay. Now very happy with her new computer :) Thanks for assisting to find and buy the computer for her Gracious!



Malita and her brother Canaan are two "abandoned" students we are helping with Gracious supervision. Their Grandmum was found to be quite blind a couple of days ago and we are hoping that she can receive treatment in Lilongwe tomorrow


Jacco meeting Elia in Mbeya, Tanzania to pick up the TAFA phones

Thanks to Jacco for his travels to meet Elia, and Elia being home on school break, they were able to pick up phones sent from the USA for some TAFAians


the phones have arrived!


Jacco's view at "the lake" today

Yesterday was a gravestone ceremony for Jacco's mum in Nkhata Bay. It was a very emotional day for Jacco. Jacco became part of TAFA over 5 years ago, after he had been orphaned and needed a bit of assistance to school.


Gracious Grandfather

headaches, headaches, headaches Gracious has been suffering for a number of years. Finally it was decided that Gracious should go to visit his grandfather in his village and then travel to visit the "African Doctor". The experience was truly amazing, and his headaches of ceased. Although Gracious said the potion he was given was a bit foul :) It was a new experience for Gracious to spend a bit of time with his Grandfather and talk about and learn some of their traditional spiritual teachings.

Gracious at the village

Gracious and Grandfather at the village


The clothes Gracious is selling for a wedding

Gracious has branched out his AXE Industries to providing clothes for weddings

Gracious, Isaac and "Uncle"

Last week Gracious went to Nkhata Bay to spend some time with TAFAian Isaac to see how he might work with his "uncle" on a new business. Plans and the assessment of the business are currently ongoing.


Gracious and his Grandfather having supper in Karonga

Gracious just got back from Karonga and visiting his Mum. His Grandfather was also visiting. His sister Royce was again very sick with sickle cell. She now seems to be recovering.

Gracious and his Grandfather at the Village

Gracious at the BBQ for a TAFA chicken feast in Mzuzu


Elia and his mum at the village during his school break


Elia celebrating his birthday at University at Dar es Salaam

is this true?

Monday, 26 February 2018

Small Businesses keep on growing

Gracious has been working on and creating more small businesses. He has added another popcorn stand, now in Mzuzu. He is employing some the boys that TAFA has been looking after, who were previously homeless.


So sorry about the passing of your Uncle, Gracious

Gracious Uncle's ceremony of becoming headman

Gracious Uncle's ceremony of becoming headman


congratulations on your ABE marks again this term Gracious!

Lutengano, back at law school
your persistence and even your ability to go without eating
to make this happen, is amazing

"We are working on things to make it easier..."

Monday, 15 January 2018

"everyone" is back to school!

TAFAians are all back at school and University - Tusa back at university studying alternative energy, Richard studying Communications Engineering, Monica, Accounting and Agriculture, Malita and her brother Canaan at Secondary School, Vincent completing Form 4, Gracious, signing up for more business classes.

Other TAFAians, Mpenzu and Elia from Mbeya, Tanzania continue University and one of the "original" TAFAians from Nkhata Bay, Laston Banda, continues to study Hotel and Restaurant Management in Dar es Salaam.

TAFA is also a bit DISTRESSED with the situation with Lutengano, who has lost his funding to return to the University of Malawi to study law. We will be working on this over the next month or so to find solutions. If you are in any way to help Lutengano with his law degree, please let me know. Any assistance is so greatly appreciated!


Steve Harawa in his Army "colours"

Steve Harawa is now "posted" in Mzuzu and is living the active Army life. He will be posted to work in a hospital in the next 5 months.

We are so proud of you Steve!! going to boot camp, joining the army and doing training... all so you can further you career as a midwife and nurse.

Augustine Mlotha,
celebrating the Christmas Holiday in Lilongwe with friends

Augustine, your exemplary marks and outstanding work at your studies of Economics at the University of Malawi and your completing your thesis makes us all so proud!!

You so inspire us all

so sorry Richard!

After having to sleep on the bus overnight because of lack of funds for a taxi when returning to University...

Richard ended up with Malaria
He is feeling much better now

direct from Malawi

The joys of being a communications engineering student...
you can fix the headphones people donate to you!

Richard's work desk
as yes, he was successful, the headphones now work!

The beautiful photos of Victor Nyirongo Bless

Victor has just recently got a camera. The results are really worth enjoying


the TEG system is continuing to prove itself

Gracious "Team Leader"

Chisomo and Richard


The TEG system is up and operating....


Gracious, Richard and Chisomo
planning the system


Creating the solar frame

Testing the system

Gracious is now living with the TEG electrical system the boys designed and built over the Christmas/New Years holidays. We are just in the midst of the final reports about the system.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Richard, Tusa, Chisomo and Gracious
created TEG over the holidays


Gracious is now living the TEG electrical system the boys designed and built over the Christmas/New Years holidays. We are just in the midst of the final reports about the system and should have them available in one week

"Everyone" is back/on their way back to school after the holidays...

Malita and her brother Canaan are both back at secondary school, Richard is leaving for Blantyre on Sunday, Tusa is already in class at University, arriving yesterday. Gracious is signed up for more business classes and I am going to work with Chisomo to help in prepare a plan so he might attend University of Malawi, Polytechnic for the following term. Vincent has returned to school and Jay is helping Gracious with all his businesses - TEG, selling Energy Drinks, Popcorn, Duvets and a few other items.

more to come shortly.....

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

your solutions to our problems seem to be negligible,
so we will have to find our own solutions!

Having electricity in Malawi is a never ending struggle and as you may appreciate, without electricity the country is truly doomed to continued poverty.

So TAFAians are stepping up to the plate. Guess we will have to solve the problems the "big" guys have done little to address.

We have put together a team of World Class TAFAian scientists and engineers, who will be assisted by our development and fiscal coordinators to create a working model of a battery array to power phones, computers and LED lights when the power is off. Sometimes the blackouts have been going on for days days.



Richard Mtambo - Lead engineer for development. After completing 1 1/2 years of Communications Engineering at Polytechnic/University of Malawi, Richard has learned both the knowledge and skills to design circuits, transformers and other aspects of this project. He charges his cell phone with a transformer he built. (see stories of Richard below in this site, from being a student 7 years ago at Nhkhata Bay Secondary, where we met, to his current studies at Polytechnic)

Chisomo Banda - Lead engineer for manufacturing and sourcing of components. Chisomo has been spending his last two years studying Electrical Development at Mzuzu Technical School. He has become an accomplished electrician and has used his acquired skills to pay a large part of his school fees. He is a master of practicality and making things work. (see stories of Chisomo below in this site, from his never ending and insistence that he be funded to Technical School, to his expertise in welding, being an electrician and the most practical "engineer" I have ever met)

Tusa Kanyika - Lead engineer for alternative energy integration. Tusa is the junior member of the team. A brilliant student through secondary school (see stories below on this website), he has just completed his first term at University studying Alternative Energy. We are looking forward to using his knowledge, skills and research abilities to create a project and equipment that leaves Mr. Musk and Tesla quite amazed. (see stories of Tusa below in this site, from his being chased from school because his Grandmum and sister had no money to support him, to being "head boy" and "class graduating president").

Gracious Mwandwanga - Lead coordinator and budget analysis. Gracious continues to use his extraordinary skills as a business entrepreneur and leader to see this project through to something useful and practical. (see stories of Gracious below in this site, from his insistent late night phone calls to be funded to school 7 years ago.. to his entreprenuerial brilliance and top academic achievement at GLECS Business School, and his leadership role in TAFA and associated organizations").

Jacco Mhone - Financial coordinator. Jacco will continue with his role in TAFA, overseeing the distribution of funds, that projects are linked to the proper and needed funding, and that money is properly spent. A task he has been so good at for 5 years. (see stories of Jacco below in this site, from his desire to go to business school and his willingness to oversee, co-ordinate, record and monitor, TAFA's funds over the last 5 years").


Richard is "home" for his Christmas holidays. He is visiting with his brother in Nkhata Bay (45 minutes from Mzuzu) until he goes to Chitipa to spend Christmas with his mother, the first time in over 2 years. He is planning to meet with Chisomo in the next coming days in Mzuzu and outline the project. Tusa will be meeting the group at their meeting, formally scheduled on the 23 December, to begin work and how to proceed. A follow up meeting is planned around 1st January, before everyone returns to University.

An update to the post below

Paul Read passed away shortly after our visit to visit him and Maggie, in Suffolk, England. We will truly miss you Paul


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Happy 7th Birthday TAFA!!!

Almost 7 years ago, to the day, I left Malawi after putting one boy, Augustine in school. Never would have dreamed it would turn out like this :)

The challenges have changed over the years as everyone has "grown up" and I have become a little "grayer".

A big thank you to all you, the donors, the well wishers as they are called in Malawi, who have contributed throughout the years! And who continue to contribute to ensure we are supported until we have completed the "quest".


Perhaps TAFA would never exist,
if it were not for Paul and Maggie Read

Thomas, Paul, Maggie, me, Lisa
"in Suffolk, UK 1 week ago"

"Many" years ago, when I was 21 years old, and hitchhiking outside of London, Maggie Read and her business partner Chris stopped to "assist me". And assist me they did.

Maggie suggested rather than going to the hostel in London, that I accompany her home and the rest has been a long history of her and her husband Paul, selflessly "assisting me" in my trips to the UK, whether on business or to play.

Their son Thomas was 11 at the time. We just had the wonderful opportunity to stay with Tom and his wife Lisa and enjoy their son Beau and Daughter Jazz who have both just graduated from university.

I would like to dedicate this 7th Anniversary to the Reads, especially Maggie and Paul. You changed my life with your never ending friendship and willingness to show me a new part of the world. It is with your incredible hospitality over the years, that has become huge in my life, and which was born the desire to create and operate TAFA.

"It is the actions of others towards us, especially their caring and support which changes how we see the world"

Thank you!!! Much love and appreciation!

TAFIAN's at University and College...
we have gone from secondary school to University and beyond

Thanks to both Augustine and Austin Mlotha - "the twins"
"You both have motivated me since we met in 2011 at Nkhata Bay Secondary"

Augustine and Austin are a few of the TAFAians who have never received financial support from TAFA, yet they have remained part of our group through the years. They have completed their studies at Nkhata Bay Secondary and become exemplary students at University studying Economics and Agriculture.

Steve Harawa

Another TAFAian from the "old" days. With some assistance from TAFA, himself earning a scholarship, Steve has been able to complete nurses and midwife training. Steve excelled in his exams, but even so, with the lack of public funding, he was unable to find employment in a Malawian Hospital.

After working as a pharmacist for over 6 months, Steve decided to enroll in the army and become a nurse in an army hospital. I chatted with him this morning... he completes army training on the 24th November, a 2 week break at home with his Mum and family... then it is a posting at a still yet unknown hospital.

Your are greatly admired Steve, for all you have had to go through to reach your goals!


Lutenago Munthali

Lutengano, from the young man who would always show up at the rice plots to be sure things were going to go well... to now, your continued studies at the University of Malawi in Law. Huge obstacles have been overcome by your great faith, and some other challenges, such as supporting a wife and 2 children - since the days of the rice farm. You motivate us all!




Chisomo Banda

Chisomo, from the young man who would sit outside the Coffee Den for hours, while I worked, and you waited, and waited, so you might ask for some assistance to College. You have impressed me from the beginning when I said "no, TAFA cannot support any more students, especially to college". You showed persistence and belief beyond anyone I have ever met. It is showing so true in your success at Mzuzu Technical and in your study of Electronics.

TAFA may be assisting you these years, but the main fundraising to support yourself has been your focus on welding and then learning to be an electrician and going out and finding your own work.

You are to be truly congratulated on your extremely hard work, and the focus you take to have it REALLY happen!! And doing it mostly yourself!



Elia Mwakagile
"one of the only a very few students selected by me to become a TAFAian

I met Elia in Mbeya, Tanzania at the guesthouse where Jacco, Gracious and I stayed on my return to Malawi in 2015. Elia was the front desk clerk, attended to all our needs, and even as I found out later, was the cook for our evening meals.

I was so impressed with his demeanor and the attitude he had for helping us that after we arrived in Malawi, I suggested we go back and find Elia on our return trip and see if he would join TAFA. And assist us.

Assist us he did!!! Setting up and maintaining our post office box in Mbeya so we can send phones and other things to Malawi.

Thank you Elia, for all your help and complete honesty over the last years. TAFA is honoured to assist you a bit with your college funding....

And we have certainly enjoyed and marvelled at your voice in the choir!

And thank you for introducing us to Mpenzu who we also met working at the Guesthouse. Both your help with receiving and ensuring the phones and packages get to Malawi is ever so appreciated!!!



Mpenzu Onisphat
"part of the choir at the church, with Elia...
one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard"

So good to see you off studying music at college Mpenzu!! Truly, I have listened to you and your choir in Mbeya, and it was truly, truly beautiful and impressive. And TAFA thanks you for helping us with all our packages.

Tusalyfe Kanyika
"the TAFAian who thinks life is just a good competition!"

Glad University life is agreeing with you Tusa!


A big thank you! - Julia and Guy Borgen and Guri Randhawa for their contribution to Tusa's education fund

Monday, 25 September 2017 - Tusa has arrived at University, got his bed, and is going through orientation week

Malawi University of Science and Technology
Thyolo, Malawi

Tusa Kanyika
working towards a degree in
Sustainable Energy Systems

to learn more about Tusa, click here!

the dormitory

introduction to the school in the lecture hall

all the bags as everyone checks in


Saturday, 23 September 2017 - Gracious has been honoured for his marks at GLECS, Elia travelled from his home town of Mbeya to the border with a shipment of shoes for Gracious's business, Jacco is readying himself to meet Elia at the border with an order of pots for his business and a fun visit with Elia in Malawi.


Gracious receiving his Academic Achievement Award
At GLECS College of Business Sciences
awarded by Peter Mwanza
former Minister of Agriculture/MP Mzuzu
1st Principal of Chancellor College


Gracious and Thomas discussing
truck driving school for Thomas


Elia at the border with Gracious's cousin to
deliver shoe shipment

Shoes for AXE Shops (Gracious's business in Mzuzu)


Popcorn maker to purchased by Gracious to
help his mother's income in Karonga


Gracious leaving class at GLECS College


Thursday, 14 September 2017 - Ephraim is back with some more poetry:

My word

She pierced my anger deeply
Her provoking voice scratching my smile
Dawn turned to dusk then all was over
All was about racism
& gain about tribalism.
Her voice on peak of everything

I cry, maybe tomorrow will be of nepotism.
Proclaiming we are one 24/7
But all it's draft work on the paper
& nothing on actual ground.
We are one, let's unite please!

-Ephraim Matembo, Malawi



A message from Barry:


I have known Tusa since 2013, when one of the head teachers
called me to see if I could assist Tusa at Kunyanja Private Secondary School. He was being sent home, unable to pay his school fees.
He was an extremely good and bright student.
As as an orphan, living with his sister and grandmother,
they were having a hard time just living.

That is history, which you can read below.
TAFA has funded Tusa through his graduation,
as one of the top students at Kunyanja Private Secondary.

Now we need your help to get him enrolled at the
University of Malawi

If we work as a "team"
10 people at just $US 10/per month
4 people at just $US 25/month


I thank you all so much!

PLEASE email me at


I am looking for a "BIT" of help

My name is Tusa Kanyika

Your $25 per month can certainly


Tusa Kanyika

Top student at Kunyanja Private
(Nkhata Bay, Malawi)
Head Boy
Graduation Class President

to chat with me on whatsapp: +265 888 25 64 42

email Touch And Feel Africa:

please click here to learn more about TUSA
and his quest to attend
the University of Malawi


Wednesday, 16 August 2017


The results are out
Here are the grades:

Introduction to Business: A
Introduction to Business: Communication B
Introduction to Marketing: A
Introduction to Quantitative Methods: B

Certificate of Business Management
ABE Certification Exams (UK)
GLEC's School of Business Science, Mzuzu

The boy who called me night after night 7 years ago...
"Please help me with my school fees"

From school boy to entrepreneur with "heart"

It has been a great honour Gracious, to give you a bit of assistance,
and watch as you create your businesses
and volunteer your time and understanding
with other organizations
for the betterment of all


Monday, 14 August 2017


The results are out
Here are the grades:

Advanced Mathematics: Distinction
Fundamentals of Electronic Communication 3: Distinction
Radio Systems: Distinction
Communication Systems and Digital Networks: Merit

Communications Engineering
University of Malawi, Polytechnic, Blantyre

We are most proud of you Richard! Keep up the good work!!

With great thanks to CellFixx on Fraser Street, Vancouver !!!

We would really like to thank Shah at Cell Fixx for his continued support
unlocking phones to be shipped to Malawi
and now as a collection depot for phones we can distribute in Malawi

We would really like to thank Milo at Milo European Cars
for his continued support
Milo has contributed significant funding for many TAFAians
to attend School and University

And thank you to Guy and Julia Borgen!
I had lunch with Guy and Julia two weeks ago in Seattle.
It was a big "THANK YOU" for all their contributions
over the many years of TAFA since 2010.
Without them, TAFA would never have become what it is.

And Joe Reid who we met in the train station in Mbeya in 2010...
"THANK YOU" for your monthly contribution for Richard
Without you, his education and success would not have been possible



Latest news first. We are very very relieved that Richard Mtambo is safe and back at where he boards and classes at Polytechnic after being robbed at knifepoint; Tusa Kanyika is over his bout of malaria, that had concerned us all; Pido Kalipa, who is in South Africa informed my today he is at the hospital for broken ribs; and Gracious Mwandwanga is back in Mzuzu after going home to Karonga last week to provide 2 litres of blood for his sister Royce, afflicted with sickle cell.

I mention some of the additional challenges we are face with as we proceed with school courses and businesses.

Jacco Mhone is proceeding with his business of selling fashion clothing and household articles. He is busy fulfilling orders. You can see his website at:

Both Monica Nkhayange and Chisomo Banda are home for a weeks break from university and college, and Chisomo is looking for work to help with his class fees, which he is usually very successful at.

Elia Mwasile is home in Mbeya, Tanzania from University in Dar es Salaam. He is working with his "brothers" Jacco and Gracious to bring articles from Tanzania for sale in Malawi.

Richard Mtambo is continuing his studies of Engineering at Polytechnic and working on a plan to learn Mandarin and be able to continue his studies in China. Will keep everyone posted about this. In the robbery he was involved in, he lost his phone, computer dongle, ATM card and backpack, along with some other items. Should you want to help Richard with a few $$$ please let me know. It would be so greatly appreciated. Or if you have a phone around that you are no longer using, please let me know and I can get it to him as soon as possible.

Gracious Mwandwanga is working hard with his business selling drinks and expanding into other food items. It is planned that he will start classes to learn spreadsheets and business accounting provided by his previous head teacher Rusk Mkwapatira. Gracious is also working with different NGO groups to help advance "human rights" in Malawi. More on that soon.

Steve Harawa is gone off to army life. They have taken his phone and we have been out of communication for a while. He is working hard to become a nurse in an army hospital as placement through the government hospitals has been very difficult.

Tusa Kanyika is working hard to find "donors" or "well wishers" as they are called in Malawi, so he might find fees to he may attend the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) which is in Thylolo, Blantyre. You may remember Tusa as the "star" student at Kunyanga Private, who excelled in his studies, was Head Boy and also Graduating Class President. If ever an orphaned boy lived in poverty, Tusa is one. Am going to do a campaign in the next week to find a number of donors to help him get to University. If we can get ten people at $20/month each we can do it. Please let me know if you are willing to help.

Lutengano Muthalli continues his studies of Law at the University of Malawi in Blantyre. So proud of you Lut... you are doing what I thought was "almost" impossible


Thursday, 4 May 2017 - Gracious's sister is home from the hospital after a near fatal episode with sickle cell; Kennedy excels in his marks, the second time through his Form 4; Jacco continues his long commute from Chitipa, where he is working, travelling to classes in Mzuzu to complete his ABE certification; Tusa excited about his university acceptance, but still working on scholarship applications for study abroad; Lutengano and his wife, truly excited by the birth of their second child while he studies law and the University of Malawi; Steve Harawa, just arrived yesterday at his new home in the village of Thyolo, now working as a nurse/midwife in the hospital there; Monica continues her studies at university, fine after her battle with a school snake; Richard has been doing extra practical studies at Polytechnic for his engineering courses, and Chisomo continues excelling in his studies at Mzuzu technical.

Gracious at GLECs Business College in Mzuzu

For Gracious it has been a tough number of months. His sister was hospitalized twice because of sickle cell, and there was great concern for her life. She is now home recovering. Gracious, working with Jacco, has been importing and selling "energy drinks" to help earn some money while he is going to college. He is also working on a number of other projects to help minorities and the disabled.

the "not so healthy" energy drink

Jacco continues his work as project manager for TAFA where he has just completed getting out all the "school fees" for the TAFAians. This takes a bit of coordination, and some checking up on school performance. Performance of the TAFAians has become a very small issue these days, as most of the students are in school at college or university, and have been the "achievers" over the past 6 years. The long commute to school in Mzuzu from Chitipa only shows how Jacco is focused on completing his ABE certification in business.

Kennedy, who is previous years, had issues performing in school and also some serious health issues has amazed us with his current performance, repeating his Form 4 and preparing to rewrite his MSCE. We are so proud how he has made this work.


please click here to continue with all the TAFA stories over the years!

Time In Malawi
live, let live, love, learn
and leave a legacy
Malawi's Song - A CTV Presentation

Visit our associate's websites!
Volunteer for projects in Africa

Learn about Malawi
the people, health & education




has one million orphans,
half of whom have lost one
or both parents to AIDS.

Their needs
are enormous.

I Am Because We Are Watch Madonna's video of Malawi
with Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu
education is most important
the Mzugu learns slowly

To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls
full story



The Malawi Education Foundation
is tax exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code