United Amayi in Malawi
United Amayi is a charity that aims to improve prospects and relieve poverty for women in Malawi through education. The organisation began as one English language school, running a year-long programme to teach ladies in the Mangochi village conversational English. The founder of the charity, Emma Leering, kept the school running throughout her return to the UK to study Bachelor of Arts in International Development. During that time, United Amayi expanded to another village in the Lilongwe district of Malawi.
United Amayi isn’t just about teaching conversational English to open doors for women in Malawi. We recognise that ‘development’ for the ladies that go through our programmes is complex. Malawi is a beautiful country and a wonderfully welcoming place to be. From our research, we know that women in Malawi have big dreams and aspirations, and a strong desire to be role models for their families and communities. But it is a tiny, landlocked country where agriculture is still the predominant economic sector. Learning English is a valuable skill but isn’t always enough on its own. So, we moved on to two-year programmes that also incorporate work-based and agricultural training programmes alongside our English language schools. We even supply bikes to help our ladies get to their work placements!
We also discovered that the women we engaged with were keen to run their own businesses. As Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita that is just 6% of the world average, funding businesses is a difficult task. That’s why we have also teamed up with Time Malawi, a non-profit organisation, to provide microfinance loans and financial training to the women we support.
Through education, employment, and enterprise, we are empowering the women of Malawi and giving them more freedom to choose their own path.