Temwa was founded in 2003 by our Managing Director, Jo Hook, and one of our trustees, Sophie Guise, after running a backpackers’ lodge in Usisya, a remote village on the lakeshore.

During their time at the lodge, Jo and Sophie’s close friend and colleague, Lotti Nkhwazi, died after developing AIDS. Lotti had little access to healthcare before his death and had been supporting his sister, brother, and sister-in-law, as well as 15 children, through his income from the lodge. His death had a dramatic impact on his extended family and their fortunes.

Seeing first-hand the challenging conditions that so many Malawians must face on a daily basis inspired Jo and Sophie to return to the UK in 2000, where they spent the following three years fundraising and researching how best to help people like Lotti.

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’ve continued to grow, and today work with around 45,000 people.

Over the past 17 years, we have:

  • trained over 5,000 farmers to grow additional vegetable crops;
  • tested over 25,000 people for HIV;
  • distributed more than 1,100 microloans to entrepreneurs;
  • planted half a million trees.

Read more about our achievements in the Annual Report and Accounts

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