Vocational training | Ntchito Zamanja


Lack of opportunities after primary education.

Target group

Young adults from 18 to 25 years old.


Establish a center where young adults can learn a vocation.


Collecting donations for: Building the center.

Education in Malawi

In Malawi, education is not as self-evident and well organized as in the Netherlands. In principal, everyone can go to primary school because it is free. At the end of primary school the students take an exam. Of all the students that pass this exam, only one third with the highest grades can go to secondary school. This is not for free but affordable for families. For the other two third not selected students the only chance for education is a private school. However, these schools are very expensive in Malawi and only the richest families can afford them. At the end of high school the students take another exam. From this only one tenth of the best students are selected to go to university, in Malawi and sometimes abroad. This is again not free, but often affordable. For the other nine tenth of students, the choice of a private university is very difficult. There are less spots available then there are for the private high schools, and it is even more expensive. In total, only three of every hundred students get the chance to go to the university. There are no official other education levels after high school. This lower chance of education is reflected in the achieved educational level of adults in Malawi, as is visualized in the graph below. Aaron, co-founder of this foundation, was selected to study at the university and could do this in Scotland. Read more about his journey in Our story or read further to find out what OneHeartMalawi wants to do for the young adults that did not get the chance to learn a vocation.

Sources. Malawi: The Program on Governance and Local Development; IPOR (2016) The LGPI in Malawi: Selected Findings on Education, Series 2016:6, University of Gothenburg ; Nederland: Hoogst behaalde onderwijsniveau van de Nederlandse bevolking bepaald door de Enquête Beroepsbevolking (EBB) .

At the end of high school, the students are between 17 and 20 years old. Those students that did not get selected do not have any chances or opportunities, and therefore have no future. They lack focus and have nothing to do. These are young adults that are at home with their families and stroll around the villages. Women who do not get the chance to learn a vocation more often become pregnant at a young age or end up in prostitution to earn some income. Aside from the impact this has on these women, this leads to an increase in HIV/AIDS and in the lack of financial means to provide a better future for the newborn children. Young men who do not get the chance to learn a vocation more often end up in the street or get addicted to alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately no job means no income. Social benefits don’t exist in Malawi.


To give these young adults a chance, OneHeartMalawi is setting up a center in Monkey Bay where they can learn a trade such as welding, hairdressing or making furniture and clothes. Setting up this project consists of 4 phases. We are currently in phase 2 and are doing preparatory work for phases 3 and 4.

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 1: Land

In the first phase of this project, the land on which the center is built was purchased. Two days after our website went live, we had already collected enough donations to buy the land and two weeks later the sale was complete. We have more than enough space here to offer various trainings and sufficient growth opportunities for the future. The land is located in Monkey Bay, Malawi, where co-founder Aaron Mangawa grew up. On our page about Malawi you can read more about life in this village. On the map below you can see the piece of land that we have bought. On the satellite images you can already see the rectangular shape of the wall around the land.

Phase 2: Centre

We are currently focusing on the second phase of the project: building the training center. The fence and buildings for sewing, welding, toilets and the office are built. We also provide running water and connection to the electricity grid. Click on the buildings in the map below to see and read more about the progression on land.
Welding Tailoring Office home Future buildings Fence


The second building on the land is intended for welding trainings. In 6 months, the students will gain the knowledge and skills to start their own business or join a company.


Our first focus is the building for tailoring training. In 6 months, the students will gain the knowledge and skills to start their own business or join a company.

Office home

The land will be guarded by a full-time security guard who will also be responsible for the reception. He will be given the opportunity to live here and will receive a salary for his work.

Future buildings

We have plenty of space and ideas to expand. However, maintaining focus is essential for success, which is why we prioritize setting up the first two trainings.


The wall surrounding the land of almost 150 meters long and 2 meters high is completely finished. Currently a metal gate is being made for the entrance and the openings at the front are being finished with metal.

Phase 3: Material

In the third phase, the tools and materials are purchased to be able to provide the trainings. Keep an eye on our social media or news page for an update on an upcoming collaboration to help offset some of the tooling costs.

Phase 4: Trainings

In the fourth phase, the first training sessions are started. OneHeartMalawi hires experienced Malawian welders, hairdressers, furniture and clothing makers to train the students in vocational skills. The training period lasts 6 months. OneHeartMalawi starts this project small. We therefore focus on two professional groups: making clothes and welding. The products made during the training sessions are sold and the proceeds go back to the project. The target group is vulnerable young adults from 18 to 25 years old, with no opportunities who are focused and serious enough to embark on this program. Through discussions with secondary schools and the village chiefs, we find young adults who are suitable for this process. We start with 2 trainers and 10 students, consisting of both young women and young men. After a student has successfully completed the training, he or she will receive a certificate. After completing the training, there are three options for the students. The first option is that the student can be employed by a company. To support this, we are already entering into contacts with suitable companies. The student can also start its own company with a small loan from the foundation. The last option is for the student to work as a trainer within the training center.

The people who are sewing and welding on the photos are not part of the project but show how these professions are practiced in Malawi.

Do you want to contribute to this project?

We will keep everyone that donated informed on the developments of the project and will prove that the money ends up well by posting updates, stories and pictures on the website. With this project, the OneHeartMalawi foundation hopes to provide a future for vulnerable young adults in Malawi, but we cannot do this alone. We sincerely hope that you can make a contribution to help us realize our dream project here.

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Our story

Read about our connection with Malawi and the foundation.


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