Changing lives in Malawi
396. Alice Pulford
397. Nina Pulford
Sisters from Leicester who have dedicated their lives to providing a brighter future for Malawi’s orphaned girls.
Alice set out for Malawi on her gap year in 2009, initially as a volunteer teacher, not knowing precisely where in Africa she was going. Deeply affected by the poverty she saw, she became dedicated to getting help and support to the children who needed it the most and was later joined by her sister Nina. She used a small legacy left to her by her grandfather, a great influence in her life, to build the first stage of Tilinanu orphanage on an clearing donated by local landowner, Mercy Mkandawire.
The sisters returned after Alice had finished her first year at university with funds raised at home in Leicester to extend the orphanage. It is now home to 36 of the most vulnerable girls – giving many of them their first opportunity to attend school. It offers medical support, skills and educational workshops to all and day nurseries, micro-loans and business advice to young parents to increase employment in the community.
Through the formation of the orphanage, Alice and Nina set-up the ‘LoveSupportUniteFoundation’. The foundation and volunteers provide much needed support and further development projects within the Lilongwe region, reaching out to thousands of families, with a team of volunteers recently building the first sustainable school which now educates over 600 children. To date, they have recruited over 100 volunteers and are working with the Malawian Government to make lasting change.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Alice and Nina have turned a gap year project into a Foundation that has transformed the lives of communities across Malawi. The orphanage they support gives dozens of girls the chance of a better start in life and the opportunity to get an education. Their innovative approach sees them inspire volunteers to support local projects across the country and I am delighted to recognise them as the UK’s 396th & 397th Points of Light.”
Alice and Nina said:
“We feel it is our duty as humans to ensure that all humans have fair and equal rights. We see ourselves as a helping ‘leg up’ to those that are suffering through lack of education and nutrition. We look at our work and projects as empowerment of people. Our story and journey is of transformation, that we have been allowed to accelerate, sheerly through the belief and support of the people who surround us; without all those who support us we wouldn’t be able to do all that we do.”