Temwa was founded in 2003 by our Managing Director, Jo Hook, and Sophie Guise. The friends were running a backpackers’ lodge in Usisya, a remote town on the lakeshore from 1999 to 2000.

During their time at the lodge, Jo and Sophie’s close friend and colleague, Lotti Nkhwazi, sadly died after developing AIDS. Lotti had little access to healthcare before his death and had been supporting his extended family, including 15 children, through his income. To grow enough food to feed 15 children, let alone find money for secondary school fees, was an extremely difficult task, and his death had a dramatic impact on his family’s fortunes.

Dr Kalua, the Dr at the Usisya Health Centre said the story of Lotti’s family was common throughout families in Malawi. Seeing first-hand the challenging conditions that so many Malawians face on a daily basis, inspired Jo and Sophie to do something about it. 

They returned to the UK in 2000, where they spent the following three years fundraising and researching how best to support people like Lotti and  remote communities in Northern Malawi, who were severely affected by the HIV & AIDS pandemic and the AIDS orphan crisis. With that, Temwa was born, and officially launched as a charity in 2003.

Our key achievements

From initially supporting a small community of 2,000, we have continued to grow, and today work with around 55,000 people. Since Temwa began we have: 
  • Trained over 6,200 farmers in sustainable farming practices and building climate resilience to help increase household income.
  • Tested over 35,900 people for HIV and supported those that are HIV positive through our counselling service.
  • Helped over 2,334  school children improve their literacy.
  • Supported 201 secondary shcool children with a bursary.
  • Planted over 1.6 million trees to help combat climate change whilst helping community members develop forest friendly livelihoods.
  • Helped 13,146 men, women and children access safe, clean water and hygiene education.
  • Distributed more than 1,300 microloans to small business entrepreneurs.

Read more about our achievements in  Annual Report and Accounts

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