Ending aid dependency in Malawi


Graduates of the Foundation's adult literacy classes December 2020
Part of a cohort of 104 graduates from the Foundation's adult literacy classes, December 2020

The Capacity Foundation is actually two organisations.

The Capacity Foundation, which is registered with the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (CONGOMA), is responsible for operations in Malawi and for raising funds within the country. It is based in Chintheche, a large village and trading centre in the Traditional Authority area in the Nkhata Bay District in Malawi’s northern region. The Foundation in Malawi is also a social enterprise.

Registered with the Charity Commission in the UK, the Capacity Foundation is intended to have a limited life span: once the programme in Malawi is self-funding and self-sustaining, the UK arm will no longer be necessary. This objective is fundamental to achieving independence from overseas aid.

The Foundation is managed by a group of Trustees, all but one of whom hail from the area of Malawi where the Foundation operates.

Wilson Chawaza-Phiri is Head of Community Development and Social Development Programmes at Lilongwe Technical College, in which capacity he devised and ran the baseline survey prior to the Foundation’s launch.

Makela Thula is an economist and researcher who has worked for the Reserve Bank of Malawi for almost a decade working for a time on secondment to the Economics Association of Malawi where he was Executive Director. Maleka is currently studying for an economics doctorate.

Parker Banda was for several years the Acting Traditional Authority (paramount chief) representing all of the 50 villages of Malenga Mzoma, during which time he facilitated the launch of the Foundation. A farmer and businessman, he lives in Chituka village.

Stephen Maund, based in the UK, is responsible for generating external funding until the Foundation is able to completely finance itself sustainably.