Sarah Mtonga Founder & Principal Trustee

Although I now live and work in London, I was born and grew up in Njebwa, a small village in a remote part of Northern Malawi.

My family, along with many other families in the country, was devastated by the impact of HIV/AIDS. I was therefore desperate to do something to improve the situation within the local community to relieve hardship and distress, enable and empower self sufficiency, and bring about an improved quality of life.

After much soul searching, discussion and research with the local community and with various organisations, including UNICEF, I came to the conclusion that that the best way to make a real difference was by concentrating on education, improving hygiene and the control of disease and supporting other specific projects that would really benefit the local community. I brought together a group of similar minded people and as a result the Umoyo Orphan Project was formed and obtained charitable status in 2008.

I passionately believe that it is important to involve the local community in identifying priorities and implementing them. To this end a local Umoyo committee was set up in the village. This joint relationship has proved crucial in ensuring that Umoyo meets the needs of the community.

Sarah Amon FCCA Trustee and Treasurer

I work for Chandler Chicco (UK) Ltd who are the largest Healthcare PR Agency in the world. Prior to this I have worked in a variety of industries as an Accountant. I was first asked to join the committee in October 2008 as the Accountant for the charity. I have since been made a Trustee. I am interested in the charity as I can see the positive and lasting effect that it is having on this community and want to be able to bring that kind of change to other communities within Malawi.

 

 

Chris Kitson Fundraiser & Committee Member

I am now retired and live in Weybridge, after a working lifetime spent initially in engineering, but mainly in property development and sales.

Since a teenager I have always enjoyed a wide variety of voluntary work and fund-raising activities, so in 2006, I was delighted to accept Sarah Mtonga's invitation to assist her in developing UOP into a registered charity. I feel that we are continuing to build a great team of Trustees, volunteers and supporters, with whom I enjoy working.

My 3 week visit to Malawi (entirely at my own expense) in July/August 2009 working alongside the villagers, proved to me, that all the money we raise is spent on projects which not only improve the quality of life for the villagers, but also enables and empowers them to help themselves - something which I feel is extremely important; and gives them the responsibility to continue the work which we set up and fund.

This 'hands-on' experience of living and working with the people of Njebwa certainly convinced me to make UOP my 'retirement project'.
Geoff Waterhouse Trustee

I retired in early 2011 having spent 42 years as a civil servant, the last position as Senior Policy Advisor in the Corporate Equality Division of the Ministry of Justice.

I am a Methodist local preacher and am South London Regional Coordinator for the World Community for Christian Meditation. I have a small allotment and enjoy playing table tennis. I am very committed to the work of Umoyo and believe strongly in all that it is doing. I enjoy working with a very capable and dedicated team.

Nigel Murray Trustee

I am a teacher and artist and early in my career worked as an illustrator, mainly on childrens and educational books (including Jackanory for the BBC). I attend St. Simon's R.C. Church in Putney and am a member of the Justice and Peace Group. In the past we ran a Traidcraft stall and now organize occasional fund-raising events. I am a supporter of Christian Aid and have been a collector for many years.

I was very pleased to be asked to join the committee and hope that my experience of schools and teaching will be of value.

For more information about the charity, please contact us on info@umoyoorphanproject.org
 

Umoyo Orphan project was registered as a charity in England & Wales in 2008

Registered charity No 1124720