Little Acts of Kindness

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” - Aesop

Our mission is to create awareness and support for orphaned and senior residents of Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Africa.

Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi (southeast Africa) hosts an extremely diverse population of refugees and asylum seekers from multiple countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Congo (DRC), Somalia and Ethiopia. Over the past 20 years, the camp has grown rapidly and is currently home to 45,000 people with more still arriving. Available resources are extremely limited for supporting such a huge, underprivileged community – Malawi itself is one of the world’s poorest nations and does not have the infrastructure and means to offer much aid to Dzaleka residents.

Concerned with the well-being of the most vulnerable populations within the camp at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, a group of World Universities Service of Canada (WUSC) students and a few other friends created Little Acts of Kindness with the aim of gathering and sharing information and fundraising options via this website and promoting this information to all who might step in and help via donations of any size. For group members who were once refugees in Malawi or elsewhere, the challenges that Dzaleka residents face is all too real.

Help them to meet basic needs

One month’s food for a family of four. Photo ©There Is Hope

Even though we are all affected by the pandemic, Dzaleka refugees are in the worst possible position as overcrowding makes social distancing nearly impossible and confinement means they are not able to meet basic needs – like enough food and medical care. In recent years, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reduced the amount of food distributed to a few kilograms that are barely enough to survive on. Recently, the UNHCR has changed its protocol for food distribution so that some refugees have been completely cut off from receiving the already meagre portion they previously received. Pandemic precaution measures which have been implemented require camp residents to stay within camp boundaries – they can no longer make brief outside trips as they usually do to meet their needs, buying and trading with nearby locals.

Based on the current situation, we ask you to consider helping by giving to one of our program initiatives. For those who were also there, or who have benefited from programs that helped us to create new lives, we urge you to give back to your community, bearing in mind that it takes a community to build a community.

If you have comments, suggestions or other information that you think would be helpful, please share it with us and we’ll add it as the site grows.

Small acts make a big difference

For charitable organizations outside of the Western world, receiving the funds that are raised on their behalf is a big challenge – not all countries are able to participate on the fundraising “platforms” that have sprung up all over the web (GoFundMe, JustGiving, etc.). Many of these platforms charge significant fees to collect the funds and banks charge more fees to deposit them in the beneficiary’s account. In order to legally send large amounts ($5,000 and up), donations must pass through verified, accountable organizations (like our partners). The best way to ensure that your donations get the fewest “bites” out of them is to donate to an organization with a direct connection to the charity of your choice. For all of our projects, we will share information about how your donations will be delivered.

Click on a project below to see how you can help right now.

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash.com

WUSC Student Refugee Program

World University Services Canada (WUSC) enables student refugees to pursue their education and rebuild their lives in a supportive environment.

Donate now

Home Visit

Make private donations to help us share personal stories about daily life in Dzaleka Refugee Camp coming directly from residents.

You can help

Salam Zetu – Medical kit shipment fundraiser

An ongoing campaign to raise funds in partnership with IAFR Canada.

Donate now

Kibébé Covid Appeal

Help to provide 1500 Dzaleka resident households with food, soap and face masks during the pandemic.

Donate now

GoFundMe campaign for self-made 3D printed masks in Dzaleka

A unique GoFundMe campaign to get materials for residents in Dzaleka Refugee Camp self-printing printing 3D masks against Covid-19.

Donate now

What's going on

Latest postings. View more posts.

TIH Founder and Executive Director Innocent Magambi checking the drugs

Successful delivery of “Salam Ketu” IAFR Canda medical shipment to Malawi

The medical supply kits that we helped fund for partner IAFR Canada were delivered to the clinic in the Dowa District, Malawi at the end of January. Click the button to support ongoing efforts.

Give now

Living in a lifelong lockdown – a message from There Is Hope

Living in a refugee camp means living in a lifelong lockdown, so when the rest of the world is also locked down, refugees loose their connection to the help they need to survive.

Dzaleka needs you – a poem and video appeal

A Covid-19 appeal for the vulnerable residents of Dzaleka from poet James Niyomugabo.

Community, projects and resources

If you are involved in or know of a project that is designed to benefit Dzaleka and the surrounding community, please share that information with us so that we can help spread the word. View all projects and resources.

Artist Response

Fostering hope through art – poetry, music, photography and more.

Dzaleka Online

Dzaleka Online at dzaleka.org is a first step toward registering and making accessible the many community-based organizations (CBOs) that have been developed by camp residents to serve specific groups and interests.

Takenolab

Takenolab is a learning center for information and communications technology (ICT) serving refugees and the host community in and around Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, Africa.

Tumaini Festival

An annual , regional music and arts celebration taking place in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi.

Dzaleka Connect

Dzaleka Connect is an online portal and directory dedicated to connecting people who have one main thing in common – Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

There Is Hope

Providing access to education, income generating activities and spiritual support to refugees and their host community.

Kibébé

Kibebe designs ethical, eco-inclusive, highly curated products for the international market, to provide employment for refugee and Malawian artisans.

Shop Kibébé

Our partners

IAFR Canada

A Christian-based humanitarian organization working to help displaced people worldwide.

There Is Hope

Providing access to education, income generating activities and spiritual support to refugees and their host community.

World University Service of Canada

World University Service of Canada is dedicated to providing education, employment and empowerment opportunities for youth around the world.

The Kindness team

Charlotte Barthazar

A refugee before she reached her first birthday, Little Acts founder Charlotte Barthazar is committed to giving back to the community, both in her new home (Alberta, Canada) and where she came from. Despite graduating with a B.A. in Social Sciences and obtaining a very full-time job in North America’s second-largest homeless shelter, she has continued to work overtime and at additional jobs to support her family in Malawi and to develop new initiatives to help camp residents create businesses that will help them to support themselves, with a focus on young women and single mothers.

Benigne Aaron

Benie lived in Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi for 11 years. She came to Canada through World University Service of Canada (WUSC), sponsored by There is Hope Ministry and is currently finishing a degree in social work at the University of Manitoba. As a firsthand victim of war, she is deeply concerned with the well-being of refugees and other less privileged populations across the globe and is an important contributor and sounding board for all Little Acts efforts.

Michael Radjabu Bahizi

Michael’s parents fled for their lives to Uganda where, somewhere along the way, he was born a refugee. He is a London-based pastor, an entrepreneur and a social trainer who dreams of becoming a lawyer. He is actively developing programs to aid those who face the same challenges he did growing up amongst the prejudices that many hold against those with refugee status.

Gabriel Ndende Muholeza

Gabriel, the youngest team member and our Dzaleka Project Coordinator, was forced with his family to relocate to Dzaleka refugee camp in 2015. He is a gifted science student and a natural leader, and is active in several community organizations, volunteering and teaching other young people. His dream is to attend university and study science but he is also a poet and writer and is a great addition our team as an on-the-spot correspondent within the camp.

Bosco Nduwayezu

Born in Butare, Rwanda, Bosco was forced to flee due to the 1994 civil war in. His family sought refuge in Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi, where he was able to complete primary school and succeeded in obtaining a scholarship to study at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba (Canada).

Emery Ndayizeye

Emery Ndayizeye was forced to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo when war broke out. Part of the on-the-ground team in Dzaleka, he says that the experience has been an opportunity to reach out to the community while doing his job in order to help the many vulnerable people who need shelter, basic needs and other necessities.

Pascal B. Munezero

Pascal B. Munezero is a businessman dealing in agriculture products. He enjoys using his skills to contribute to the dynamic business that happens every day at M’gona village in Malawi.

Marie Claire

A former asylum-seeker and refugee, Marie Claire believes that when you love someone, you cannot watch them starve and die of hunger or watch them suffer when you have the cure.

Remy Gakwaya

Remy Gakwaya is a force majeure in Dzaleka Refugee Camp. After losing his parents to fighting and fleeing Burundi at 15 years old, he arrived in Dzaleka in 2008 and didn’t waste any time learning the skills that would soon transform him into the founder of the Takenolab learning center for information and communications technology.

Dana Whittle

Dana is a musician, producer, designer, web developer and writer living in rural Québec, Canada. She specializes in working with not-for-profit organizations, primarily in the cultural sector.

Reach out

If you have questions or want to get involved, including making private, direct donations that will have an immediate impact, please contact us.

we@littleactsofkindness.org