Educational Resource Centre

Check out our Chifundo centre brochure which gives an overview of the history and next steps for our educational resource centre in Zomba. It may take a minute or two to download as it is stored on Dropbox. We promise it will be worth it!

We’d love to hear from you in relation to this project. Perhaps you have ideas for activities we could incorporate into this program. Perhaps you would like to make a donation or help us with fundraising. Or maybe you would consider talking to us about volunteering for a couple of weeks during a summer program. We would absolutely love to hear from you.


Educational Resource Centre construction is almost complete

Check out these photographs from the construction of Chifundo’s Educational Resource Centre. As you can see, the building is nearly there and the next stage. The team in Zomba are right in the middle of adding the roof to the structure and we will very soon move on to the next stage – preparing the interior fit out and finalizing the operational plan for the center.

When complete, the Center will be a multi-functional resource providing enhancement of the education and development of Chifundo’s students, who are enrolled across four different schools in Zomba. The centre will cater for extra-curricular activities like sports, additional tuition, farming, summer proects and social events, while also supporting our programme’s food preparation and distribution.

The team in Malawi have made great progress on the building of the Centre, despite the recent floods that hit Malawi. Thankfully, our team and community in Zomba were not badly affected by the floods.

Chifundo educational resource center


Chifundo edicational resource center

Amazing progress on Chifundo’s Educational Resource Centre!

Tremendous progress is being made on the building of Chifundo’s Educational Resource Centre in Zomba, Malawi. Building is at an advanced stage, with the perimeter wall having been already completed and the project to construct the building itself well underway.

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

The Chifundo Educational Resource Centre, when complete, will provide a central location for all of the Chifundo students – currently enrolled in four different schools across Zomba – to congregate together. It will be a central hub for activities as varied as sports, additional tuition, food preparation, farming, summer projects and study. The centre, which is constructed in a U-shape on the 2 acre site, will have a running water and electricity, a kitchen, library and some basic accommodations for visitors to Zomba from Africa, Ireland and beyond, spending time to deliver programs to the Chifundo students.

These photographs give a great insight into just how much progress has been made by our team in Zomba in delivering this exciting project.

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Educaton Learning Centre Malawi charity Ireland Cogavin Zomba

Chifundo Learning Centre construction Malawi education Ireland

Chifundo Learning Centre construction Malawi education Ireland

Chifundo Learning Centre construction Malawi education IrelandChifundo Learning Centre construction Malawi education Ireland

Chifundo Learning Centre construction Malawi education Ireland

Chifundo Learning Centre construction Malawi education Ireland

Chifundo Golf Event 2014 – help us fill the course TWICE this time!

Its that time of year again! The Chifundo golf event will take place on Friday 5th September at Greystones Golf Club.


Following the immense success of previous years, this year’s event promises to be another glorious day of golf and fun! Last year we filled the course in the afternoon, but there was room for a few more teams in the morning. This year we want to ensure that we fully load the course TWICE (!), so please invite friends and colleagues to attend – it’s a great day and they will thank you for it!

wpid-wp-1377275868868.jpgThe format of the competition is the same as previous years:

  • Team of 4 persons – scramble
  • 2 shotgun starts at 10am and 3pm
  • Price per team (4) including Golf, light meal,and prizes : €200
  • Sponsors and friends of Chifundo are also invited to the meal at 8:00pm


The results from last year’s event are available here.


Each Chifundo Golf Event has enjoyed incredible weather and we have been guaranteed by Met Eireann that this year will be no different!

wpid-wp-1377252270618.jpgTo book in teams, please contact John Cogavin at or phone +353-1-2831772.

Norwegian Prime Minister emphasizes the importance of education for girls in Malawi

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, during a visit to Malawi has emphasized the importance of education, in particular for education of girls, for the development of the country.

According to the Norwegian Norwegian Ambassador Asbjørn Eidhammer, “educating girls is the single most powerful investment for development. When you educate a girl, you educate a nation.”

A more detailed article on these comments and the Norwegian visit to Malawi in an article on available here.

While Chifundo’s education programme caters for roughly equal numbers of girls and boys, the importance of the education girls is of great importance to Chifundo. The imperative for Malawi’s development of good sexual and reproductive health and the central role of the mother as a key influencer in the family unit makes the education of these young girls a key concern.

Malawi Field Trip 2014

Third World Chifundo Education Foundation Malawi Ireland "John Cogavin" "Elaine Cogavin" "John and Elaine Cogavin"
John and Elaine in class with some of the Chifundo kids and their teachers!

John and Elaine have returned from their adventure in Malawi and are over the moon with the progress that is being made on both the education project, and the rapidly developing Chifundo Learning Centre project!

The trip which lasted ten days including travel incorporated several planning sessions in

Chifundo Education Third World Development "Elaine Cogavin"
Elaine and some of the Chifundo Children

relation to the next stages of the Learning Centre project as well as visits to the current Chifundo students at their homes and schools. Each year it becomes more and more challenging to try to meet all the children during the trip, John and Elaine managed to meet and spend time with 39 of the forty children currently enrolled in the programme which is a great result.

Enthusiasm for the project and activity on the ground in Zomba is at an all-time high, with two resources – Lucy and Zinnenani – now employed to ensure that the Chifundo kids are getting the most out of their education. In parallel, the Chifundo Trust in Zomba, having successfully completed the initial project steps of acquiring a piece of land, clearing it, and erecting a wall to secure the perimeter, are now busy finalizing the design of the Learning Centre building and fit-out.


A large part of the land that the Center is being built on is made up of excellent quality, well-irrigated soil. Earlier this year, three parents of Chifundo students attended a five week crop farming programme kindly hosted by Wells for Zoe. These volunteers have already begun working the land at the Chifundo Centre and crops are already growing aplenty. (To read more about this programme please read the previous blog post here). Additionally, some chickens are now resident in the Chifundo Centre and it is projected that they should yield enough eggs to supply all of the Chifundo kids’ school lunches in future!

Chifundo Foundation Zomba Malawi Third World Education Development "John Cogavin" "Elaine Cogavin"
The children gather for a fun day at the site of the Chifundo Learning Centre

Elaine’s first Trip to Malawi

While this excursion marked John’s fifth trip to Malawi, this was Elaine’s very first journey there. An experienced world traveler, Elaine is a founder member of Chifundo and has been deeply involved in the Foundation’s development. Elaine relished the opportunity to see the development for herself and while she had already met some of the key members of the Chifundo Trust, she had never met any of the children or seen the schools.

Chifundo Malawi Education Development Elaine Cogavin
Planting the seed for a better future

Field Trip to Malawi this May

John and Elaine Cogavin of Chifundo Foundation in Ireland are traveling to Malawi this May in order to work with the team there on the next steps in the development of the Chifundo Learning Centre!

2013 saw a great deal of progress in relation to the project, which will serve to create a central location in the townland of Zomba for the Chifundo students to congregate, study, paricipate in workshops and play. Chifundo has acquired a suitable piece of land and has constructed a secure wall around the perimeter. The next stages – to install electricity and running water, to construct the main building and to adapt the land to allow for play areas as well as areas for vegetable farming and the keeping of live-stock.

While this will be John’s fifth journey to Malawi on behalf of Chifundo, it is Elaine’s first trip there. Elaine is really looking forward to meeting the adults that manage and the children that participate in the Chifundo programme. Elaine knows many of these people well from a distance and cannot wait to start meaningfully developing these friendships during her visit.

While there, John and Elaine will have time to visit the students at their schools and in many cases will also see them at their homes. Traditionally, on these field trips, we bring a gift to each of the children – usually a small toy or game suitable for each child’s age. Elaine has always sourced, wrapped and packed these gifts – now its her turn to deliver them in person!

We wish John and Elaine all the very best with their upcoming trip!

Pic: Elaine arranging and wrapping gifts for the Chifundo children ahead of a previous trip.wall malawi

Pic: The Wall around the perimeter under construction (now complete)



Chifundo parents travel to Wells For Zoë crop farming Programme

Chifundo Foundation is delighted to announce that three of its local team in Zomba have traveled to Northern Malawi to participate in a programme offered by Wells for Zoë (

The programme, which provides invaluable information and experience in relation to the farming of crops suitable for Malawi’s climate and terrain will take place over 5 weeks on the Lusangazi farm in Mzuzu, Malawi.

Wells for Zoë is an excellent Irish charity based mainly  in Northern Malawi and focused on enabling the rural poor to access clean, safe, drinking water. It also does great work   with women’s self-help clusters which includes conservation farming. We at Chifundo are delighted to be aligned with Wells for Zoë and are very grateful for this opportunity which they have generously offered to us.

The programme will give training on the best crops to grow and how to go about sourcing them. Additionally, there will be training on how to grow plants that provide the basis for fertiliser and pest-control on a natural and native basis. Wells for Zoë will also allow the participants return with some citrus fruit crop seedlings to plant back in Zomba. The participants will return with a great deal of knowledge and confidence in relation to sustainable crop farming techniques which will be engendered in our educational and nutritional programmes.

The three particpants from Chifundo are parents of children that are currently receiving education through Chifundo: Don Mankhokwe (father of Shadreck Mankhokwe), Lusungu Ndovi, mother of Glory Disi), and Zione Khomera  (mother of Emily Musa). We wish them all the best on their trip to Mzuzu.


DIT International Food Fundraiser

DIT International Food Fundraiser

Some of DIT’s Erasmus students ran a fundraising event on January 22nd in DIT’s Cathal Brugha Street restaurant in aid of Chifundo.

Students from fifteen countries laid out their tables with their native food prepared by themselves together with maps and flags of their country. They came from as far afield as India, South America, South Korea, and Hong Kong and many European countries. The place was packed with all nationalities which made for rich sharing on their various cultures, their subjects of study and their experience living in Dublin.

The event was a great success and enjoyed by all. Our sincere thanks to Juan Carlos, Barbara, Filip and Francois for all the work that went into organising the event!

This initiative forms part of the students’ social entrepreneurship module which was introduced by Professor Tom Cooney of DIT.

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