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The past years we started two projects in Malawi. Umunthu Withu School library project and Nkhata school building block. Firstly where on Earth is Malawi? Malawi is a landlocked country in south east Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique to the east, south and southwest. Malawi spans over 118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 19,431,566 (as of January 2021). The country is nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa" because of the friendliness of its people.

Nkata School Building 

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Malawi is not a wealthy country, but Malawi participates in the international coffee trade. The crop favours the northern highlands of Nkhatabay, Misuku hills, Phoka hills, Viphya north area and south east of Mzimba area with annual rainfall range of 2000mm to 1500mm. Coffee grown areas remain relatively small and produced by a limited number of small holder farmers.


We were fortunate enough to meet some coffee farmers. During the coffee procurement expedition we arrived at a small school up in the Phoka hills (picture to your left). Due to the growing number of pupils they belt a thatched house as a classroom. We asked the director of the school how we could help.

Though Atelier Tembo's aim was to increase the smaller holder's farmers capacity at producing coffee. We believe this is done by education the farmer and shouldering some of the communities’ burdens so when the Director of the Nkata school said we could help by building another school block. We were glad to jump on to this as an Atelier Tembo project. We communicated with our financial partners from Malawi and Germany and the task begun.


We managed to deliver building tools for phase 1 of the project. The kids were so excited that they greeted us with smiles standing on the new block (picture to your right). 


It may seem easy to travel in these areas. We learnt the hard way. We travelled to the local farmers world to purchase cement and hire a pickup (picture to the left). Though the trip was only 20km it took 4hours to get the cement to the top of the hill at the village and it started raining. This area has one of Africa deadliest roads with 26 deadly hairpin bends going up hill. So if your not good with your clutch control, you can count yourself dead.


We managed delivered the cement to the Village Headman and the school Director. There is no proper road leading to the school so the last 5km the cement had to be delivered by motorbike. 

This April we went back to Nkata to asses the school block to asses the progress. The Nkata community tried their best to complete the work by themselves. Due to the SARS Covid19 virus work on the block had to stop and the school was closed for more than 8 months. Massive rains had washed away some of the work.


The video to the right is are two village headmen and the Director of the school. Fourtunaly the cement was strong enough to hold parts of the foundation. There is still a lot of work to be done and we plan to finish the work by the start of 2023. As a Startup we do not have the capacity to complete the work on just our income. Therefore 2023 is a realistic estimation for the school block to be completed.  

Umunthu Withu Project 

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Umunthu Withu meaning “Our Humanity” is a project that aims to build a library for rural communities. We have managed to secure land in Livingstonia, Malawi to build the library (picture to the left is the floor plan for the library). 

People donate books and old literature written in English. These books are then used for research by school children and community. Umunthu Withu was our initial project when we first decided to invest in the farming communities in Malawi, but the urgent needs of the community came first. Therefore we collect books donations at the moment and we continue building the school block for the Nkata School Kids.