Our Founder, Dave Armstrong

Dave Armstrong started volunteering when he was just 12 years old. By 17 he was taking part in Granada Wheel Appeal, cycling sixty miles from Manchester to Blackpool. After using Icebreakers Manchester the “coming out” group in his twenties, he dedicated ten years service volunteering to help other men “come out”, resulting in being awarded the Queens Award for Volunteer Services. In the 2000’s Dave was helping Dr. Frank Mugisha establish Icebreakers Uganda in Africa, but it wasn’t until Dave was stood listening to Les Pratt at the World Aid’s Day vigil in Manchester in 2004 when he learned about Malawi and the issues faced by Malawians by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. By 2006, Dave was part of a 34 strong team cycling, kayaking and hiking Malawi, on an event called Mission Malawi, raising a staggering £134,000 for Action Aid.  Dave describes this trip as “life changing” as he was able to visit and see for himself projects he was funding to help those affected by HIV/AIDS. On returning to the UK, Dave was still in shock from the poverty of Malawi and on hearing and seeing that a whole generation of parents had been wiped out leaving up to 2 million vulnerable children, as orphans knew that he needed to do something. Within weeks, Dave was back in Malawi with a small charity called Friends of Mulanje Orphans and over a ten year period as volunteer and trustee helped raise funds to feed up to 10,000 children per day and build 14 daycare centres, HIV clinic and high school.  He also sold his own pride and joy TVR sports car (boyhood dream) to build an orphan daycare facility back in 2007.

No one has ever become poor from giving.

Anne Frank

The School

In 2017, Dave was approached by Malawian Davie Chalakala who was building a school in Mangochi. Davie told him about a dilapidated school housing 1,500 children in Dowa. The school, he said, was in a terrible state with crumbling walls, broken and uneven floors, and parts of the roof missing. Dave made a commitment to fund the building of a new school for the children.

In 2022 with the assistance of his friend, Brendan Ainscough, a UK businessman, the school was completed.

Chunzu school is surrounded by tiny subsistence villages, none of them with modern amenities. The children walk miles in the early morning to school, where they are well fed and follow the Malawi education curriculum, The new school, a loving, safe space, has improved both child retention and examination grades. School uniforms are provided for all the children, who learn and play together.

The orphaned children receive important additional emotional support through the Orphan Daycare Village, with its daily feeding programme, as well as practical guidance in dealing with desperate poverty and isolation. Kennedy Davie, the Managing Director of the school (himself orphaned as a child), leads a programme developing resilience and empowerment.

Please support our brilliant life-changing work in any way that you can.

Change a young life today

It doesn’t take much for us to make a huge difference.  Please get in touch today to find out how you can help.