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  • Ilene Ramsay

Meet William the Artist

Malawi Wawi brings hope to people in Kapeska, Malawi by creating job opportunities.

We are funded by grants and donations from our corporate partners, government, the public and sales from our social enterprise. All the staff who help with the administration are volunteers based in Europe. 

Tiwanee Laurens – Corsi, our co-founder, said: “This has been a work of passion and most of all friendship.

“The charity was started with the community for the community, with a chief who handed over some of the community land for building a space of education and creation, where the community can be proud to generate their own income, not through charity but by actions and production.

“He believed that we could bring something joyful, fun and different to the community. So far, I think we have done quite well and have managed to achieve this with minimum funding, through volunteering.

“I hope that this development can also bring financial stability to a lot of people from the community,” she added.   

One of the many to benefit from the project is William Manda, 34, who was born deaf and mute.  

He grew up without education and living in poverty in Blantyre, southern Malawi, unable to find employment because he couldn’t get any formal qualifications.

Having later moved to Kapeska, where he met his wife, Chimwemwe Phiri, life had been a real struggle for him and his family until he met Malawi’s project manager Julius three years ago.

Julius introduced William to Malawi Wawi, offering him a job as a painter and decorator at our Primary School in Kapeska.


Tiwanee said: “William is such a great artist. He is so appreciated by the children and is always smiling. It is such a treat to meet and work with him. Although we cannot communicate with words, we can do so with the wonderful classroom decoration he produces.


William was responsible for decorating the insides of each classroom with beautiful and educational illustrations, including the alphabet, numbers and local plants. He has most recently painted the new Malawi Wawi road sign, directing all visitors from the main road down the winding dirt track to our village and community centre.

“When he took me to his home to show me his paintings, I realised that they were the same as the ones the beach vendors were selling for a very high price to tourists.

“But despite his amazing artistic talent, William unfortunately couldn’t sell his work so I started taking some of his paintings to Europe and sold them for him,” she said.

William has been delighted to receive so much support from the project and the difference it has made to his life.

He said: “the project helped me a lot, I can now provide for my family which I wasn’t able to do before. Things are a bit quiet now due to restrictions on travel, but I know this is only temporary.”

The organisation is hoping to have William more involved with the school, doing art classes once a week and even teaching sign language to the children so they can communicate with him.

Donate for William and his family. Our community needs more support than ever during these tough times, especially those that rely on tourism for their income.


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