MRF-UK and Issa Foundation continue to provide climate change-resilient houses for vulnerable elderly women

* Complemented with places of worship and a Madrasa that includes early childhood development facility

* As well as facilities for vocational training in tailoring, carpentry & joinery and brick laying

By Duncan Mlanjira

Malawi Relief Fund UK (MRF-UK, in collaboration with Issa Foundation (UK), have handed over 100 climate change-resilient houses in Mayani, Dedza District in their partnership to assist vulnerable elderly women.


The houses were complemented with boreholes that were sunk around the communities as well as places of worship and a Madrasa that includes early childhood development facility.

Also constructed are facilities for vocational training in tailoring, carpentry & joinery and brick laying, taking cognizance that Mayani is one of the poorest areas in the district as well as at national level — whose people live below poverty lines.

In an interview, MRF-UK Country Coordinator, Yakub Adam Vialli said this is the reinforcement of the two charities in their profound commitment to continue supporting poor people in Dedza and Malawi as a whole.

The houses the beneficiaries were living in

He said in partnership with Issa Foundation (UK), they have so far built over 4,000 Climate resilient houses in different areas of the country that were complemented with boreholes, praises of worship, Madrasas and vocational training in their objective to assist vulnerable people, more especially elderly women who support orphans.

He added that they are carrying these projects with the support from Issa Foundation (UK) and various others donors, saying: “We are greatly thanking for the support towards transforming economic status of vulnerable elderly families.”

In March this year, the two charities handed over 200 climate change-resilient houses in the areas of Traditional Authority (T/A) Maganga in Salima District and in November last year, over 142 were constructed in the villages of Mchiliko and Malowa in Namwera, Mangochi District.

MRF-UK started building low cost houses since the floods of 2015 in Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Ntaja, Nselema, Namwera, Zomba, Phalombe, Salima and Salima that became the charity’s catchment areas for assistance.

The houses come along with latrines and the beneficiaries are also provide a starter pack of items that include mattresses, blankets and kitchen utensils and sinking of boreholes.


Provision of clean and safe water is one of MRF-UK objective in assisting humanitarian needs of vulnerable people as well as food handouts and the gift of sight, among many other projects.

In July, MRF-UK achieved another milestone by graduating 95 students in informal vocational training programmes of bricklaying, joinery & carpentry, and tailoring — done in collaboration with government institution, Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA).

The training was done at Maone Vocational Training Center, which provides opportunities to rural communities who have no formal qualifications aimed at improving the standards of technical, entrepreneurial and vocational education and training.


Maone Vocational Training Center is operated by MRF-UK, with support from Issa Foundation that offers formal vocational training programmes including plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, electrical and PV Solar.

MRF works closely with the government authority, TEVETA, and at the end of the programme, each of graduates receive a toolkit which included essential tools and equipment, whilst the tailoring programme graduates received a sewing machine — to enable the graduates to undertake paid work and or produce items for sale to earn a living.

Valli maintains that this programme is vital for the economy, saying: “Our objective is to promote empowerment and sustainability. The informal programmes improve access to education and training for all, in particular those in rural areas.


“We have taken the education and learning to the rural areas in order to improve accessibility and inclusion in the education system. Due to the success and demand, we have planned to open another 5 centres. We are also working with TEVETA to see how we can improve the informal programme.”

Valli further expressed his thanks and appreciation to Issa Foundation for providing financial resources to enable Maone Centre to deliver the vocational training programmes.


“The past three years have been extremely challenging through difficult economic conditions in the country following the CoVID-19 pandemic and cyclones, whose consequences increased costs that hindered our efforts to enhance areas of support.”

Though its catchment areas are Zomba, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Mangochi, MRF-UK swiftly moved in to assist flood victims of Cyclone Ana last year and Freddy in March with relief items.