Crisis and recovery

The problem of displaced people

There Is Hope is a Malawian non-governmental organization (NGO) providing refugees of Dzaleka refugee camp, as well as their Dowa host community, with access to education and income generating activities and strengthening their spiritual well-being. Our vision is to see them  escape poverty and become self-reliant.

This 5-minute video produced by Lindi van Niekerk and Alexa Sedgwick captures everything that we stand for.

Political turbulence in many regions of the world has increased the number of displaced people fleeing complex emergencies and disasters. They often end up in large camps where environmental health measures are insufficient. Refugees are people who have crossed an international frontier and are at risk or have been victims of persecution in their country of origin. Internally displaced persons (IDPs), on the other hand, have not crossed an international frontier, but have, for whatever reason, also fled their homes.

At There Is Hope, we believe that the impact of any work which seeks to graduate refugees from a dependency on aid will only reach its full potential when Malawi extends the rights of employment, freedom of movement, integration and access to public education to refugees. We have designed an extensive program aimed at lobbying the government to update its legislation, while bringing greater national awareness to the refugee issue. Allowing refugees to be part of the workforce will not only release refugees from destitution, but it will benefit Malawi with the resilience, determination and innovation that refugees have developed over many painful years.

There Is Hope has already come a long way – through our work we have been able to benefit refugee and Malawian communities alike.

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22 October 2021 / Read more

Ripe for integration

“You know I used to be scared of Malawians,” he said and let out a big bright grin. It is hard to tell that behind that wide smile once hid a face overshadowed by the trauma that is birthed courtesy of being a refugee. “I am serious. I thought Malawians are difficult. I think it was partly because of the language barrier between us refugees and Malawians.” He continued, his smile slowly fading into a thoughtful face as his lips briefly flattened up into a straight line. He stayed muted for a few seconds, gazing into the roof of his small house as if searching for a lost symbol then glanced up again…“That was a long time ago. Now I look at Malawians and it’s interesting how I have grown to like them. I treat them as my brothers and sisters now…”

11 August 2020 / Read more

A pipe, a spanner and a girl

Susan comes from a background where people believe that it is a taboo for a woman to be involved in construction-related trades. This misconception has caused many girls in Susan’s village to shun such courses. Not Susan. She wanted to disprove such wrong beliefs and her dream was to be a woman who can take care of her own financial needs. So, she trained in Plumbing in our vocational training programme. Susan has finally achieved her goal. She got a job as a plumbing teacher in the city. She can even afford to pay rent for a house in the city.

22 November 2020 / Read more

Family Guy

Bulaiton was in his late age when he decided to train in Carpentry in our programme. He never allowed age to come between him and his strong desire to find a means of pushing out of the poverty he grew up in. And after his training, he did push out of the poverty. He started off with a small carpentry bench which grew and gave him enough income to build a new house complete with corrugated iron sheets. To Bulaiton this is a big improvement. He also did something uniquely interesting for his grandson and son-in-law.

Touching lives, transforming communities

Our story

The work and nature of There Is Hope is directly linked to the life and story of the organization’s Executive Director, Innocent Magambi. He lived as a refugee for more than 27 years, beginning as a small child, and knows firsthand the struggle and misfortune of displaced people fleeing economic crisis or military conflicts. Innocent debunks many common misconceptions about refugees and is dedicated to sharing the reality of what it means to be a refugee. As founder, he shares his vision for the plight of displaced people and encourages everyone he comes in contact with to understand why – and just how much – their help is needed to make a difference and change lives.

An innovative approach

For us, charity work is not a matter of giving handouts but empowering beneficiaries to make the best out of their situation. Poverty is not so much a lack of material possessions as it is a state of mind developed through culture, beliefs and debilitating circumstances. Challenging this state of mind with love, compassion and care can transform a person’s attitude to the extent that they go on to become a source of inspiration and support to those around them.

Our greatest resource at There Is Hope is not the money we are able to raise but the time invested in our beneficiaries – listening, understanding and sharing in their suffering and joy. By forming authentic relationships we gain guidance about what their real needs are, and then embark on the transformation journey together.

There Is Hope strives to bring positive transformation to the lives of both refugees and Malawians. Our goal is to ensure that these people achieve self-dependence.

All programs are offered on a non-discriminatory basis and strive to engender key values:

It could be you or me.

The situation in Malawi

Malawi, famously known as “the warm heart of Africa”, is a sub-Saharan landlocked country located in southeastern Africa.

Bordered by Tanzania to the northeast, Mozambique on the east, south and west, and Zambia to the northwest, Malawi obtained independence from the British in 1964. Despite a peaceful history and a democratic political structure, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its estimated population of 18 million is one of the fastest growing worldwide. 45.1% of the total population is under 15 years old while life expectancy at birth stands at 56.7 years for men and 59.9 for women (UN, 2016).

More than half of Malawians live on less than $1 per day and the vast majority rely on subsistence farming. Industry is limited and major exports include tea, coffee, sugar and tobacco.

Refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi originate primarily from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, and more recently, Mozambique. Some of these people are the children and grandchildren of people who fled conflicts as far back as the 1970s, living in refugee camps in other countries before moving to Malawi in search of better opportunities.

It is in this difficult environment that There Is Hope works with refugees and their host community to provide access to business development, education and spiritual development programs.

A success story

Our programs

There Is Hope runs a wide range of programs to help the refugee community in Dzaleka refugee camp. We strongly believe that real help is much more than just the emergency response to the basic needs of people in crisis. Our aim is to educate, train and empower vulnerable and displaced people, giving them the dignity, respect, sense of belonging, care and love that they need to survive – and ultimately – to thrive.

Vocational training

Giving people tools to establish normal lives enables them to provide for the needs of their families and to graduate out of poverty.

Leadership development

For change to effectively take root in a rural African setting, the whole community must be involved and the change must be accepted and endorsed by the leaders.

Social enterprise

A sustainable income can transform families by providing necessary goods and services, increasing a sense of dignity and by allowing parents to be positive role models to the next generation.

There is Hope Bible School


We believe that the impact of any work which seeks to graduate refugees out of aid dependency will only reach its full potential when Malawi extends to refugees the rights of employment, freedom of movement, integration and access to public education.


There is Hope values education as a transformational tool that sharpens minds and a movable capital that can be utilized wherever people end up in life. We provide scholarship funding for secondary and university studies for young people with potential which would otherwise be choked by lack of finances.

Two is better than one

Covid-19 has affected everyone on the planet

Like everyone else, we were taken by surprise. As of 20th March 2020, our educational programs ground to a halt due to the presidential state of disaster declaration. With the help of supporters, we have changed gears and have found ways to combat the invisible enemy while standing with our communities. We are responding by providing food, soap, bucket taps, and reusable cloth face-masks made by local artisans. Please support our efforts by donating (below) to our US-based GoFundMe campaign managed by our own Kibébé handicrafts store.

We thank our valued partners.