In 2010 after spending some time in Malawi Laura Buttafoco and Mauro Poma founded Marajowi with the aim of giving some of the children in Nkhata Bay a better chance in life. In 2015 they registered Stichting Marajowi as a foundation with the dutch tax office. Immediately afterwards the foundation was granted ANBI status in the Netherlands, thus ensuring the donors to have some tax benefits (under determined conditions).
In her daily life, Laura Buttafoco is an experienced professional in the pharmaceutical world whereas Mauro Poma works as a tour guide in Rome (Italy) and in the Netherlands. Laura and Mauro are married and have a son, Flavio. After all these years Laura and Mauro are still happily managing this project from the Netherlands, where they live. It does take a lot of energy to keep things going from far, but seeing the smiles on the children faces is the best reward ever. However, they would not be able to do this without the help of some local people.
During the first 3 years, Gresham Agile Ng’Ambi helped achieving a successful start of Marajowi. Unfortunately, when they finally got some more substantial donation and started doing something extra, Gresham was not able to handle the sudden ‘fortune’ and behaved in a completely unethical way. Today they don’t know anything about his whereabouts. Luckily they were able to establish a good working relation with Clement Gumbo, one of the old teachers of Wukani Education Facility (in the picture with his family, when we last visited him in 2014). From February 2014 till today, he has been helping them manage all the kids (except Malita) and act as interface with their families.
Malita’s education path is completely different from that of the other children. Luckily Laura and Mauro were able to establish a good relationship with the teachers at the Bandawe School for the Hearing Impaired that Malita is attending. As of today, the Head of the school has always been a great support with this. Unfortunately, there seems to be a high turn over in the people covering this position. As a consequence first they got help from Andrew Chulu, then from Lerapie Banda. Nowadays, they are in touch with Stuart Chiwona who is making sure that all Malita’s needs are met and that she gets the best from her school life.
Frighton Kachule is another trustworthy contact they have in Nkhata Bay. He is well known within the village for his charitable behaviour and Malita, Katie and Gift often refer to him when in need of support while at home. Frighton cooperates with Laura and Mauro if they have to plan events (e.g. Christmas) in Nkhata Bay and for a while he was actively part of Marajowi. Unfortunately because of his busy life, he opted for a more marginal role, but they are still keeping in touch with each other.