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Joe's leg and help for many others

When I was last in Malawi, I spent time with Joe who had recently lost his leg in a dumptruck accident in which he had been driving. TAFA is most happy to say that in the intervening time, we have found a supplier of new "higher tech" knees (D-Rev in San Francisco, California) and have formed a partnership with Rotarian and Head of Orthotics Dr Robster Nyirenda, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We will be receiving some of the very first knees manufactured in June 2015 and I am hoping to take a knee with me for our first trial fit for Joe in June. More about fundraising and the overall project shortly when shipping and availabilities are known.

TAFA - Self sufficient in two years?

We are working hard at TAFA to become self sufficent in two years. What does this mean? It means that TAFA will to be "profitable" in its business endeavours. These profits will be used for school fees to help fund new TAFA "startups". We will hopefully "give up begging" for funding donations.

TAFA's biggest goal is to provide a source of work and income for TAFAians after they graduate. The saddest and most frustrating experience, is a student who has done well in school and graduated, to find themselves "sitting" at home, with no employment or income. Jobs are scarce in Malawi, Even achieving a "livable wage" is a huge challenge. TAFA is working on these challenges with a "super" focus.

The Pressure Washer

TAFA is working with Luckson on his Car Wash proposal. At the moment it is mostly a question of TAFA having the needed funds to help with the expansion and operation of the business.

smaller money making adventures...
South Africa duvets, memory cards from USA

TAFA and it's project manager Jacco, have been working selling different items to determine market and how profitable sales can be. One of the first items was memory sticks sent from the USA and sold to students and business people. Jacco was in South Africa over the Christmas Holidays and we decided to help TAFA funding by purchasing and then reselling duvets in Malawi. Yes, hard to bellieve that duvets are big sellers in Malawi. These projects have been small scale to learn about import fees/restrictions, promoting and selling goods and keeping records. I am most happy to say that these projects have been responsible for funding a number of students to school.

The Sausage Business

TAFA has embarked on a project with Gracious in Karonga to sell sausages to businesses such as lodges and individuals. Gracious was one of the 1st students TAFA funded when he was just beginning Secondary School. Gracious recently graduated last June. We have teamed up with GLEC's Business School in Mzuzu, where Rusk, the headteacher is mentoring Gracious with his spreadsheets, banking information and help with marketing.

The Maize Project

TAFA is in its 1st season of growning maize. We have 1.5 hectares planted and growing in a village near Kasungu. This is a joint venture with Alfred, his family and TAFA. Alfred is a TAFAian who recently graduated from Nkhata Bay Secondary School. The project has even helped others in the village with employment through weeding, planting and fertilizing

The Rice Projects

TAFA is in its 3rd season of growning rice. We started with 2 plots, expanded to 5 last season and are currently cultivating 7 plots as of 11 March 2015. The plots are are Mkondezi village, not far from Nkhata Bay in North central Malawi. To receive their school fees, (the TAFAians, as the students funded by TAFA call themselves) must work in the fields, preparing, weeding, harvesting and selling the rice.



Projects - continued and new - for 2013/2014

Raising Money For The Various Projects

TAFA is working on a number of different ways to raise money for its projects in 2013/14. This is an ongoing and integral part of our work. Without fundraising, no projects will be completed and successful.

Monday, 16 December 2013 - TAFA students begin clearing the 4 new rice plots we have secured.

I am exciting to announce that today TAFA is beginning the clearing and ploughing of 4 of its newly aquired rice plots at Mkondezi Village. 7 TAFA students are working on the project, overseen by Mary Nyirenda, Headmaster at Mkondezi Village.

Profits from the sale of the rice will be used to fund school fees and to add to the number of self sustaining/income generating projects TAFA is introducing in the next 12 months.

TAFA member Tenson and his cows, ploughing the rice plots when I was in Mkondezi in September. Tenson and his father make much of their livelihood from ploughing for the many rice growers in the village.


Sunday, 15 December 2013 - VICTOR NYIRONGO BLESS BEGINS WORK as a Lilongwe guide and service coordinator.

Victor and I have been working on some ideas of how he might make some money, both to help support himself and be able to return to school. Tomorrow he begins work as a Lilongwe Guide

vist Victor's page link here

Aaron Mahone has made me so proud and his paraffin business is growing fast and thriving!

Aaron and fellow TAFAian and college student MacDonald

Sunday 8 September , 2013 - Aaron expands the Paraffin (kerosene business), with good sales and good looking future prospects.

Aaron and I started the business 4 weeks ago and already the fishermen are calling him to get for paraffin. From just 20 litres the first week, Aaron seems to be up to 40 litres which may be sold in just 2 days. For a young man, with almost no income a month ago, except that of the hard work of selling some fish, this is really something. We have great plans which I am looking forward to sharing with you all as we move forward.

Monday 9 September , 2013 - We revist Sahani's land at his Grandfathers visit with Louis the head of the Mkondezi Research Station.

We continued the agricultural project for Sahani with Louis, collecting soil samples and vegetation for analysis.

Surveying and evaluating Sahani's land last Sunday with Louis Mwamlima, the head of the Mkondezi Agriculture Research Station, Webster Kanyimbo, Sahani's agriculture teacher, from Kunyanja Private Secondary with Sahani.

Louis Mwamlima, the head of the Mkondezi Agriculture Research Station

Sahani pondering his land and his future


Sunday, 21 July 2013 -The TAFA Convention, training as tour guides and the ongoing discussions of starting an importing business.

We have been fishing, off to see the monkeys, trying all the local food both on the
highways and in the villages.... and TAFA - Local Tours has begun.

As a way to raise money for school fees, and to expand our small businesses, some of the TAFA students in Nkhata Bay have got together to begin a "local tour business"


The TAFA Textbook eLibarary click for pdf

click for more information


The Bakery Project to education students in a small business and raise money in Malawi for school fees and projects. click for pdf

Continued distribution of the Nokero Solar/LED lights to schools and students in the Nkhata Bay, Malawi. click for pdf


The sponsorship of students to enable them to attend both regular and boarding school. click for pdf

The raising of $35,000 for the construction of a girls dorm for Kunjana School, addtional dorm facilities at Bandawe school and beds and mattresses for Nkhata Bay Secondary School. This is really needed, and the amount of money to make this all work is so small for the number of girls it will help. click for pdf


The raising of $24,000 for the completion of internet access for Kunyanja School and computers and internet access at other schools. This is really needed, as most students have never used a computer or even experienced internet access.. click for pdf


The TAFA Board of Directors - funding and direction to enable the "local" Board of Directors to create and successfully complete student and school projects. click for pdf

bthorsness@    SEATTLE, WA  206-774-5963     VANCOUVER, BC  778-786-1690


TAFA – Funding Education in Malawi


The purpose of Touch And Feel Africa

An overall endeavour to successfully educate students in Malawi


        the direct funding of school fees for Secondary Students


        providing school basics such as paper, pens, chalk and school uniforms


        providing mattresses for existing hostel/dormitories


        supplying computers and internet access for schools and students


        creating a “safe space” hostel/dormitory for girls to stay while going to secondary school


        our Solar/LED Lights to  create study rooms in schools


        helping graduated students find work with goal setting, CV/Resume writing and networking both in Malawi and outside the country.


        the new TAFA bakery project in Mzuzu – creating  learning, employment and income for students locally in Malawi


        the new eLibrary, providing necessary text books for secondary students



School Fees

Secondary education in Malawi is not free.  Although very inexpensive in relationship to our life style, it is a formidable barrier for families in Malawi where 80% of the population lives on less than $2 a day.  TAFA started the funding of one student in October 2010, and this last term (finishing June 2012) is now directly funding 18 students.





Providing For School Basics

TAFA throughout the last 3 years has provided funds for the purchasing of paint, paper, pens, chalk, blackboard paint and various other supplies for schools.





Supplying mattresses for existing hostel/dormitories

Many students, even at prominent boarding schools such as Nkhata Bay Secondary School, must sleep two students to an old, single mattress.  We at TAFA believe this is not helpful to get good rest for a great education and are actively working to change the situation.



Computers and Internet Access

In 2011, TAFA was awarded a $7200 grant from Softchoice Cares, part of the Softchoice Corporation.

The grant was used to provide 12 computers to Kunyanja Private School and an addition 2 computers to the Media Centre at Butterfly Space, a training centre for students.  We are currently working hard at internet service at Kunyanja.






Creating a safe space for girls to attend school

Plans have been completed for a girls hostel/dormitory at Kunyanja School.  We are currently working on funding for the project.





Solar/LED lights for study rooms

In September of 2011, TAFA provided 80 LED/Solar lights, most for a student study room at Mkondezi School,  a handful to students and village residents for studing and testing purposes.  We are currently assessing the viability of the lights to be sure they meet our requirements.



Helping graduated students find work

We have started a pilot project of helping graduated students find work.  With mentoring assistance with goal setting, CV/Resume writing and networking both in Malawi and outside the country we have begun a support structure for these graduate students so they can find work.  Employment opportunities in Malawi are very scarce.  We have had students travel to Arusha, Tanzania, and currently have a student in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is newly employed and working to save money for chefs training college in South Africa.



The TAFA Bakery Project in Mzuzu

We are currently fundraising and putting into place our plan for a bakery in Mzuzu.  The project will be a learning, employment and income for students, and proudly locall in Malawi.





The TAFA eLibrary Project

As we have begun to fund more and more students to secondary, we keep getting the request. “Mr. Barry, I need text books for my classes to study”.  As many of you can probably imagine, what would school have been like for you if you had no text books.  Then image being in a class with up to 90 other students and having no way to review your classes or study from a text book.  A formidable challenge.  TAFA has begun a pilot project to provide an entire years text books to the students we are currently supporting to school..





Who are we?


Touch And Feel Africa

We are a group of Canadians, Americans and Malawians, all ages and from all walks of life.  Projects in Malawi are administered by “Touch And Feel Africa” – see   We are a registered society with paperwork in the works for charitable standing in Canada.  We also work under the umbrella of The Malawi Education Foundation, a registered non-profit 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, registered in Washington State.


Our Board of Directors in Malawi

Out board of directors was formed in August of 2011 in Nkhata Bay, Malawi.  We are composed of a variety of people,  the sub superindent of the Nkhata Bay Police, a couple of Christian Ministers, a couple of business people and an excellent baker and chef.





Successful projects

Touch and Feel Africa is providing school funding for fees to students in the Nkhata Bay Area (see: ), computers and internet at Kunyanja Private School, (see: ) computers at the Butterfly Space Media Centre, LED/solar lights for a study room at Mkondezi School, (see: ) and supplies for various schools such as paper, pens, notebooks, paint and blackboard paint and chalk.  We are currently working on a library project to provide students textbooks for their classes. (see: )


Join us!!!

Would you like to be part of a dynamic group of people, bettering education and living standards in Africa?


Are you interested in helping build a project that is self sustainable, and creates ongoing financial resources for students and schools in Malawi?


Love to hear from you and talk about what we are doing, and especially how your can participate and enjoy yourself with our projects.


bthorsness@    SEATTLE, WA  206-774-5963     VANCOUVER, BC  778-786-1690


Thank you,


Time In Malawi
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has one million orphans,
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