Robyn is the director and founder of Mphatso Children’s Foundation. She is a mother to four children and ‘Nana Pies’ to five grandchildren (and counting!). Robyn lives in Malawi at least nine months of the year and oversees the local staff and programs, an enormous job for one person! Robyn has an enormous capacity for work and an equally enormous capacity for compassion, which alongside her love for the people of Malawi allows her to continue to serve and lead as director of Mphatso Children’s Foundation Malawi. It takes many years to truly understand a culture and the way a community works, Robyn having spent more than ten years living in Malawi is ideally suited to work and benefit her local community with the assistance of an amazing local staff.
The ground staff have a variety of duties, from building maintenance to keeping the grounds of Mphatso tidy, watering the garden, assisting in building projects, delivering porridge, interpreting and so much more, yet this list of duties doesn’t really do justice to what the ground staff are to Mphatso. Poniso, William, Mandu, Kelly Fumbani, Donard and Amos are the back bone of Mphatso Children’s Foundation Malawi. They work alongside Robyn everyday and assist in all major decisions particularly assisting with an understanding of what is going to best assist the local community. They assist in determining which programs are working effectively, where the greatest needs are within the community and how best to work towards our goals of feeding the children, growing the community and impacting the future.
A team of two night watchmen are assigned each night, generally for three nights at a time to watch over the grounds of MCF Malawi. These workers are essential to Robyn’s personal security but also the security and safety of visitors and the security of our facilities and equipment.
Each nursery school had two teachers. We have an amazing group of teachers, 24 in total with three assistant teachers who help out at our larger nursery schools. Our teachers work tirelessly to ensure that our Nursery School children receive a great pre-school education and are well equipped for school transition. Our teachers are also the frontline for us recognising when we have a child with special needs, be this due to disability, HIV status or some other issue. They allow us to maintain a high level of care for the children who attend our Nursery Schools.
Each Nursery School has two cooks who prepare the tea and porridge for our children. This is quite physically demanding work as water needs to be carted from the nearest bore hole to enable this to happen as well as to provide water for sanitation and drinking. In one of our largest nursery schools, which has more than 120 children, parents are placed on a roster to assist with this. One of our nursery schools has a roster system for cooks so that more families can benefit from the income this provides.
Teacher’s Oversight Committee:
This is a group of experienced teachers and esteemed community leaders whose role is to oversight the teachers at all Nursery Schools and be involved with any staff discipline issues. This has been recently established and is working very well.
There are a number of programs run by Mphatso Children’s Foundation that provides ongoing casual work. We employ three English teachers, a bible study leader and three leaders for Boy’s club and Girls Club, Part time work is also provided at times. This can range from extra cooks through to builders and labourers when building programs are running.
President of Mphatso Children’s Committee Australia. Liz is new to this position in 2017 and her roles will include preparing visitors for travelling to Malawi and overseeing work parties heading to Malawi in the coming year. Liz has known Robyn since the beginning of Mphatso and always marveled at the incredible work of Mphatso. In May last year God sent Liz to Malawi and it wasn't until then, did she see just how amazing Robyn is, what she has set up and how many lives she is touching. She's excited about stepping up into this position and knows with God's blessing we can all accomplish a lot.
Vice-President: Sonya has served on the committee for three years and this is her second year as Vice-President in 2017. Sonya traveled to Malawi in 2012 and was finally able to not only meet the beautiful people of Malawi but saw what a huge difference the support from Mphatso Children's Foundation is making in the village and beyond. She has always had a heart for the disadvantaged and is a Well being Support Officer in a Special Development School, having studied Community Services. She has a heart to see the local people of Malawi empowered and enabled to reach their full potential.
Marg Connors :
Treasurer: Marg is new to the Mphatso committee and will be serving as treasurer. Marg’s roles include managing direct debit forms, assisting those wanting to donate to MCFM, sending money to Robyn in Malawi and balancing the books as well as regularly auditing our work. Marg will also be heavily involved in organising many of MCF’s fundraising activities and comes to the committee with extensive experience in event management. She looks forward to serving with the Mphatso family to support Robyn and the team in Malawi. Marg is retiring from her extensive experience in office administration and as a business owner. She brings many years of financial experience with her to this role.
Secretary: Laura has a background in healthcare and is drawn to projects that support holistic health and sustainability. She is a 29 year old mum of two and in her 'spare' time she fills this with hours of work and study. She comes to the committee with great organisation skills which will be advantageous in this new role. Her hearts desire is to see individuals set free through Christ from poverty and suffering. She looks forward to supporting the life saving work of Mphatso in Malawi.
General member: Jenny has been on the committee for three years and this year will serve as a general member. Jenny has traveled to Malawi a number of times and has been deeply impacted by these visits along with her family. Her heart is to see the best for those in Malawi she so deeply cares about. Her organizational skills will greatly assist Mphatso as she works in this position.
General member. We had the huge benefit last year of having Robyn join the Australian committee while she was back from Malawi. Robyn brings with her over a decade of experience of life lived in Malawi and carries with her the vision and passion for Mphatso. Robyn has been building the strategic vision for the foundation while back in Australia and now feels the next step for Mphatso, after successful delivery of "Feeding the Children, Growing the Community" is to turn her attention to "Impacting the future". This year she intends to return to Malawi to build two new nursery schools and a training centre, with the money raised from various fund raising events throughout last year, which is very exciting for whole vision of Mphatso Children's Foundation.
General member: Zarah is a mum of two and has a passion for indigenous cultures and sustainability housing. She comes to the committee as a new member this year with 15 years experience in Photography, 10 years experience in outback Australia with Tourism Guiding and 3 years experience editing website content, newsletters and social media. One of the committees goals is to keep communication strategies up to date and she is hoping to ensure this commitment to the whole of Mphatso Children's Foundation family. She hopes one day to travel to Malawi, witness the great work of Mphatso and meet the people of Malawi.