The Malawi Project was born in a unique way. It founders entered the country at a time when the only knowledge of the country came from the local people of Malawi themselves, the grassroots, village level. In that moment a foundation was set that gave them a unique insight into what was needed and how it should be administered. This unique approach came the very people who knew best what was needed, and how it should be delivered. This idea of allowing local people to determine how an aid program should function proved quite unique.
The Malawi Project was structured in such a way that it could actually work itself out of existence when a focused site successful. No land was purchased for a central headquarters. No vehicles, or other property was registered to the organization. In a way the Project did not exist. It was seen only through the groups it helped form and function. When they reached their proposed goals in resources, expertise and independence the Malawi Project would move to recreates itself in new location, and then extend assistance in this new area.
This unique approach focused on helping people get on their feet. It did not exist to establish a permanent mission in one or multiple locations. Its intent and mission was to empower the people to recognize and achieve success through their own, plans, organizational skill, and personal endeavors. Each time a location becomes independent of outside assistance the Malawi Project has succeeded.
The words have been spoken from Africa through many different languages, many different forms, through the long history of servitude and subjectio, yet its plea blends to form a single chorus. It is a plea to be heard, and it cries out in a simple language, “Do not make us beggars.” It is often ignored in the rush to, “assist the poor people of Africa.” It seems an underlying quest of every man, in every land, in every generation, the desire for independence; not to be beholden, or in subjection to a handout from someone else. Most would rather have a hand-up. From the beginning the Project has focused on giving a hand-up, and not become a perpetuator of the handout.
A former member of the Malawi Parliament listed three important differences between the Malawi Project, and other aid groups. (1) “You walk beside us and not ahead of us,” (2) “You listen to our ideas,” and (3) “You drink tea at our tables.”
While many organizations see the importance of having a paid American or European management staff, owning property to carry out their programs, the Malawi Project owns none of these. The Project members are all-volunteers, the organization is not-for-profit, and it owns no buildings or vehicles.
The term incubator usually applies to babies, agriculture or the business world. The term used by the Malawi Project deals with an incubator that helps develop young ventures to assist the nation. These ventures should not have a profit making intent, but are focused on the physical and spiritual needs of the nation. They often come with insufficient capital, are in need of equipment, and the needed expertise to reach their goals. The Malawi Project provides needed resources to assist them to get on their feet.
The Malawi Project functions primarily in the area of medicine, education, child care, assistance for the aged and handicapped, agriculture, famine assistance, and the spiritual development of responsible citizens who will make a contribution to their home, village, community, church and nation.
The Malawi Project works at the discretion of the Malawians who desire its presence. It is a 501c3 humanitarian aid organization chartered in the state of Indiana in the United States of America. It is tax-exempt under the rules, and the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States, and contributions made to this organization are tax-exempt.