Uplift Malawi, formerly known as The Hamels Foundation, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing access to comprehensive education for children in Malawi. By building sustainable school campuses, life-skills programs, and local partnerships, Uplift Malawi transforms the lives of children, families, and communities through the power of education.
ST. LOUIS, Nov. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In a world where 98 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to schooling, The Hamels Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to making a difference through education, has embarked on an exciting transformation. Today, they proudly introduce Uplift Malawi, a new chapter and a new name reaffirming their vision: the belief that access to comprehensive education within empowered communities is the answer to social change, bridging the gap between opportunity and improved outcomes.
For nearly fifteen years, the organization has been dedicated to changing lives through education. The journey began with a deep commitment to building a sustainable school campus in one of the world's poorest nations, Malawi. The mission has always revolved around the belief that every child deserves the opportunity to create a brighter future.
In 2013, they finished construction on The Namunda Primary school, a campus that supports 700 primary school students annually. The school provides well-equipped indoor classrooms, complete with desks and supplies. It also boasts a library complex with books for all ages, a cooking facility that offers free daily meals to students, and solar water and sanitation facilities to promote health and hygiene. Additionally, the campus includes an orchard that supports agricultural training, sports fields encouraging extracurricular learning, and on-site teacher housing. The Namunda Primary School goes beyond just being a place to learn, it improves the quality of life for both students and teachers, as well as their families and the surrounding rural communities. Embracing a comprehensive approach to education, Uplift Malawi proves that education must extend far beyond the construction of school infrastructure to successfully improve outcomes and create lasting change.
"There are many ways to advance education in a pre-existing infrastructure. But to build a groundbreaking school campus in one of the poorest nations in the world to make education a possibility...now that's a mission. It's a difficult task in a challenging environment, but to change the life of just one person by making education available will make a significant impact on the lives of many in years to come. Our mission goes beyond education; it's about uplifting lives,"says Heidi Hamels, Founder of Uplift Malawi.
The organization began with founders Cole and Heidi Hamels, driven by a deep commitment to create opportunities to learn. Since its inception in 2009, The Hamels Foundation has worked relentlessly to create an impact, which has only been intensified by the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary closure of its Namunda Primary School, due to the pandemic, highlighted the vital role the organization plays in providing essential resources to children, families, and communities in Malawi.
The organization reached a pivotal crossroad that not only marks the evolution of the nonprofit but also provides an opportunity to fine-tune its mission and increase its impact. It is with sadness the news of their founders' separation is shared, but Uplift Malawi looks to the future with gratitude, excitement, and a sense of renewed purpose, guided by Heidi Hamels and Alaina Baker.
Under new leadership, Uplift Malawi is poised to enhance its mission and expand its impact. Alaina Baker, who has been a part of the mission for over a decade, has returned as Executive Director, bringing a fresh vision and wealth of experience to lead Uplift Malawi's efforts forging ahead. Though a chapter closes, another opens for Uplift Malawi with intentional transformation driven by the same passion for comprehensive and accessible education.
Their new name, Uplift Malawi, embodies who they are today and the heart of their mission The colors in their logo are inspired by Malawi's flag, the natural hues of the country, and the vibrant colors found at their Namunda Primary School campus. The logo itself symbolizes people in a circle with outstretched hands, signifying their efforts to transform a broken cycle into uplifted communities through the power of education.
"Our mission has always been about changing lives through education. We believe in the transformative power of education, and now more than ever, we are determined to create a lasting impact on the lives of children, families, and communities in Malawi," states Alaina Baker, Executive Director of Uplift Malawi . "Uplift Malawi is more than a new name; it's a celebration of our journey, growth, and impact we strive to make."
Uplift Malawi is more than an organization; it's a global community united by a shared commitment to empower lives through learning. As they embark on this new chapter, they invite everyone to join them in their journey by visiting their website, following them on Instagram and Facebook, or making a donation. They extend their deepest gratitude to their supporters, whose dedication makes their work possible. Together, they are making a difference – one child, one family, one community at a time.
SOURCE Uplift Malawi