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3rd world hope

Our mission

Founded in 2008 by Shaun Williams, 3rd World Hope works in co-operation with disadvantaged communities in Malawi to tackle poverty and malnutrition and to create a safer environment in which children can live. We do this by working closely with local people, listening to their needs, empowering them to become self-sufficient, and supporting them in their endeavours.

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About Us

3rd World Hope was set up after Shaun and a friend travelled through Africa and landed upon a remote part of Malawi near to the shores of Lake Malawi. What struck the two of them most of all was that, despite obvious desperate poverty, they were welcomed everywhere with open arms and encouraged to share in what little the local people had.

On returning to the UK Shaun set about fundraising to carry out a small project for an orphan centre he had visited in Malawi. It was his way of trying to give something back to the community. With help and support from friends and family the small project grew to become a huge success. Not only was he able to repair and equip the orphan centre, more importantly he provided sustainable resources, cultivated land to grow food and a water pump supplying clean water thereby enabling the whole village to become self-sufficient.

As a result of this initial success, Shaun decided to take things further, and 3rd World Hope was officially born - becoming a registered UK Charity in July 2009.

Our Vision

Our vision is to make a difference: to play a part in tackling poverty, to help in the education of children, to assist people in becoming able to help themselves and their communities, and to improve lives.

Improving lives

Having witnessed, first-hand, the amazing difference his first project made to the lives of the children involved, Shaun’s aim has always been to continue improving the lives of other vulnerable children. We believe that by supporting, educating and empowering local communities to ‘help themselves’ we can eradicate, to some degree, the hopeless cycle of poverty that exists.

3rd World Hope wants to continue to support orphan centres providing clean water, cultivated land and safe refuges that many children can call home. We believe all children have the right to a safe place to live, enough food to eat and clean water to drink. In order to try and break the cycle of extreme poverty, 3rd World Hope also believes that these children should have the opportunity of a good education. We are continuously fundraising to provide these basic human rights.

What we have achieved

3rd World Hope has provided support to thousands of children and adults in and around Bandawe: cultivating areas of land for the growing of food; installing fresh water pumps in the hearts of these communities; and most importantly, supporting healthcare, establishing orphan centres and pre-schools to provide access to education, and developing local sports teams.

    • We provide distribute mosquito nets and clothing, books and toys.
    • During the dry season famines, we provided tens of thousands of children’s meals.
    • Our ‘Brian Ferguson Foundation’ provides local disabled people with tools and materials to make items which they then sell to earn a living.
    • Hundreds of children receive a full education through support with school fees.

By working closely with the chiefs and local people, we have ensured everything is done in keeping with local culture. With this ethos in mind, we endeavour to create self-sufficient projects. This is done by employing local people to run our centres and giving them the necessary training through college placements. We set up small businesses to help fund the running costs of each project. These businesses include a chicken farm, a maize mill, a grocery store and a minibus service.

Our projects

Kamusita Village

This was Shaun's first ever project. His original aim was to supply simple but very necessary items to a completely unaided orphan centre. With malaria being one of the main killers in Africa, the first priority was to ensure each orphan had their own mosquito net to sleep under. Providing children with a mosquito net immediately increases their life expectancy by five years.

Shaun and his friend Howie decided to keep plans for Malawi simple, to help as many people as possible, using very carefully any money they could raise. They received an amazing response from friends, family and the wider community, raising funds through sponsored events: a triathlon, a car boot sale, a bag pack at a local supermarket and a party night at Havana, Chester. A total of £3,563 was raised, more money than ever anticipated! With this sum of money Shaun and Howie quickly realised they could expand on their initial plans and possibly provide access to permanent clean water and a constant supply of food offering children the chance of a healthy future.

This is what Shaun wrote about his first project:

"I spent the first week working with the villagers in Kamusita feeding and caring for the seventy orphans. During this time I spoke to as many people as possible about what they considered the orphan centre needed. I visited other orphanages in the area to get ideas and learn where our money could be most effectively spent. Although I had preconceived ideas on what I wanted to do, I was immediately hit by the desperate poverty these people lived in. They were drinking from a stagnant river, only able to feed the orphans on a Wednesday and Friday with their limited funds and were sleeping on mud floors with torn clothes and no blankets.

I met with the three Chiefs of the area to discuss what we could do. The answers all appeared short term, for example buying sacks of maize. I told them I wanted to do things they could continue themselves enabling them to become self sufficient long term. Agreeing with this, they allocated me a plot of waste land the size of a football field. We employed local people to work the land and prepared it for growing our own maize and kasava.

I visited a nearby hospital where a cholera outbreak had occurred. After meeting some of the victims and finding out about the conditions they had been living in prior to their illness, I quickly realised that Kamusita was in imminent danger from cholera too, such were their living conditions. In response to this threat I organized a meeting with the Malaria Co-ordinator for the area. After informing her of my concerns about the village she made some enquiries. She had me signed up to the Malawian Government as an official distributor of mosquito nets. This meant we got the 300 nets free of charge, only having to pay £40 for the administration costs. This allowed the £1000 we had set aside for the nets to be spent on other things such as the water problem.

Armed with information and big ideas I left to pick up supplies from Mzuzu and meet up with another charity, ‘Wells for Zoe’ that supplied water pumps. The meeting proved very successful. Prior to this I had been quoted £4000 for a borehole or £2000 for a water pipe to be laid to the village. ‘Wells for Zoe’ quoted me just £200! The only costs that we would incur would be for the pump itself. Things seemed to be falling into place. My ideas were all becoming reality and the community were all helping me to make them happen. Another problem was getting sick people to the hospital nine kilometres away. The only way until now was to carry them. We have now supplied the village with a mountain bike with a custom built trailer bed on the back which I designed with a local welder.

Other small projects we have undertaken include buying timber and making desks to seat 90 students at the local Primary School which the orphans attend. We also made benches for the orphans to sit on when eating their meals instead of on the mud floor.

Primary education is free to everyone in Malawi. However, once they reach secondary school, they must pay fees. This means the orphans stop going to school from then on. This was something that really frustrated me, as I felt they weren’t getting a fair chance of a future. With this in mind we set about setting up a small business that could generate an income to pay these fees. After meeting with the Agricultural Minister I decided a chicken farm would be a perfect option. Easy to maintain and run, the eggs from 100 chickens would cover the costs of the school fees. I also met with local campsites and businesses and had them agree to buy the eggs on a daily basis from the orphan centre. All of this will now allow the orphan centre to be self-sufficient. They have access to clean water, guaranteed food all year round, and an income to finance their outgoings.

As I left at the end of my month they arranged a ceremony to say goodbye. At this ceremony the chiefs and locals asked me to pass on their thanks to everyone involved back home. I cannot put into words what all of this has meant to these people. I sat in tears as one of the orphans spoke on behalf of the orphan centre, expressing the gratitude and heartfelt thanks they all felt. They truly believe they have a future now. This has only been made possible as a result of your help."

Bandawe Village

The Bandawe Village project was 3rd World Hope's first ever CBCC: Community Based Children’s Centre.

The first CBCC was Tiziwane, in Bandawe. Caring for 72 orphan children from the start, Tiziwane has been home to hundreds of orphan children since it first opened in June 2010. The name of the centre, ‘Tiziwane’ means ‘know each other’. It came about because Shaun wanted it to be more than just an orphan care centre. It was to become a centre that would not only provide a safe refuge for children but, with the sustainable resources set up alongside it, would develop and involve the whole community.

This is what Shaun wrote about this first project:

"After the amazing response to our fundraising events we hit our target of £11,000. On June 28th 2010 I flew out to Malawi. I arrived into the village excited to see everyone again but also very anxious as to how they had maintained the things which we had set up on our first project back in January 2009. My anxiety subsided in a matter of minutes. The whole community had come to welcome me back and took great pride in immediately showing me how they had not only maintained, but also developed it all. Motivated and proud, we began work on building the new centre straight away.

Our initial project in 2009 had been difficult. Trying to source the supplies we needed had been a constant struggle. I couldn't believe how this had all now changed in just one year. Lucky, Lumbani and Chimango - our project managers, had sourced contacts in pretty much every area we needed. From builders to transport, tools to materials, they had found it all. I knew, before we even laid our first brick, that this was going to be a huge success.

We employed local builders from the community and labourers from each family in the area to spread the income around as much as possible. Whilst the builders cracked on with the backbone of the project, we began working on the additional plans which would make the centre completely self-sufficient.

They now include:

Running water - digging a trench and laying pipe over 300m from its source.

Our own vegetable garden - to eradicate the problem of malnutrition.

Sports fields - for the children to play football, netball and volleyball.

Two toilet blocks - to help reduce the risk of cholera.

A kitchen - for the committee to cook for the children.

We also looked at how we could increase the income for the centre. Last year we set up a chicken farm with 100 chickens. This generated enough income to pay for the children to, not just get a primary education, but a full secondary education too, which is something that you have to pay for in Malawi. The farm was proving to work really well. They were on their fourth cycle of chickens and managing the feeds, vaccines and selling of eggs as a commercial business. We have now expanded to 500 chickens. This will generate enough income to not only fund the education, but will also allow the centre to run a clinic once a month where babies, children and adults can come for check-ups from local doctors and access health advice regarding HIV and Aids, Malaria and Cholera - some of the biggest killers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The money will also allow us to provide pre-school education for toddlers.

A committee of extremely dedicated women run the centre. Fifteen women to be exact. I questioned how much we would have to pay them to continue their invaluable work; the reply was a perfect example of the spirit of these people. Nothing! All they wanted in return for their services was a uniform. Something they said would give them respect in the community, a sense of belonging.

It is this community spirit that has made the centre such a success. The whole village has their part to play, and they play it with such devotion and care.

In addition to the building of the centre we were also able to help the local primary school, which many of our children use. This had been damaged in storms earlier in the year leaving them without a roof and therefore no shelter. Thanks to all those who helped us raise more than we needed for the centre, we were able to assist them here too. You have helped repair the roof on the school, build a further three toilet blocks (prior to this 590 students shared one), paint the classrooms and provide enough pens, pencils and notebooks for every student for the whole of the next academic year.

Having now successfully concluded our work with this particular community it is now time to move on. Leaving the community was an emotional goodbye. Over the past two years we have put all our efforts into raising the money to try and give these children something we believe should be every child’s right - the chance of a safe and protected upbringing - 'a childhood.'

This has only been possible because of the support we have received from friends, family and the public. I hope reading this you feel a sense of achievement and pride. Without each donation that we have received from you, the 72 orphans would still be fighting for their lives, drinking out of stagnant rivers and stuck in the endless cycle of poverty because they had no opportunity of an education. All that has now changed……

We are only a small charity but we will keep working to change things. One community at a time. Our family will continue to grow.

Thank you so much for getting involved."

Chanawaka Village

The Chanawaka Village project owes everything to Janet Cottrell and her daughter Lisa. These are Shaun's words:

‘In loving memory of Lisa Jade Cottrell. She has made a difference...’

In March 2010, an extremely caring, loving person, Lisa Jade Cottrell sadly died at the very young age of just twenty-one. She had spent her short life trying to help others less fortunate by volunteering her time and fundraising for issues close to her heart. Lisa’s family began working with 3rd World Hope in 2010 by funding a water supply to a village in Malawi and distributing mosquito nets to hundreds of people in the local community. It was a way for them to continue helping those less fortunate in Lisa’s memory. Having seen the difference this had made to the local people, the Cottrell family, in memory of Lisa, wanted to continue their support and have recently funded our second children’s centre, ‘Tovwani Orphan Care.’ Tovwani meaning ‘help each other.’

Tovwani is set up very similar to our first centre, Tiziwane. Rather than have a large number of children living in one place, we keep the children living with local families within the community. This keeps the child in a close family environment. However, due to the extreme poverty these families live in, they cannot afford to look after the children. This is where our centres come in. The children come each day and receive meals, clean water, play games and become members of sports teams. We support the families by providing everything that the child may need, from blankets, mosquito nets, clothes, shoes, to paying all school education fees.

We provide training for all our care givers to ensure that the children receive the best possible care and above all, receive the love all children should feel. Each morning the centre runs a pre-school for our younger age group with around 20 children being taught by our trained pre-school teachers.

In the afternoon at around 12.30, the rest of our children return to the centre from school. They have their meals and spend the afternoon playing on our football, netball and volleyball pitches. Others spend the afternoon playing with our games or spinning around on the swings in the soft play area which was funded by Charlotte and her friends doing a sponsored walk in the UK. Tovwani have their own football and netball teams and kits for both have been kindly donated by AFC Waverton and Boughton Belles, both in Chester.
Like Tiziwane, Tovwani is also self-sufficient. We have our own land where we grow maize and kasava, and have our own vegetable patch to help combat malnutrition.

The running costs for the centre are covered by our latest new businesses. Along with our chicken farm which runs Tiziwane, we now have a grocery store and a minibus. After looking at our outgoings we found that a third of all costs were transport. Instead of just buying a pick-up truck, we decided on a minibus, as this could be used as a business running daily up to the nearest city 100 kms away. Along with generating an income from the passengers, it provides our centres with free transport for collecting goods and, if needed, can be used to get local people to hospital in emergencies.

As well as establishing the new pre-school and children’s centre, we have also worked to improve services to the wider community. Hundreds more mosquito nets have been distributed and essential equipment has been supplied to both the local school and hospital. Both are still in desperate need of help, something we intend on focussing on over the next few years.

From all of the children, staff and wider community in Malawi, thank you for your continued support. A very special thank you goes to the Cottrell family whom we look forward to showing around the project in the near future.’ You will then see for yourselves the difference Lisa has made.’ “Tawonga”

Mbamba village

‘A very special project...’

In July 2012, 3rd World Hope established ‘The Brian Ferguson Foundation’. Brian Ferguson was Shaun's Grandad. Shaun wrote:

"In Malawi, disabled people receive no support from the Government and are therefore left to fend for themselves on the streets. With this being something close to the family's heart [Shaun's grandad had lost his legs in earlier life] a new centre was established. Disabled people in the area can come to The Brian Ferguson Foundation, receive tuition in various skills including sewing, painting and carving, obtain materials and use tools and equipment free of charge. They are able to create items which they can then sell and subsequently buy food. At the same time, and as a result of your support, residents of Mbamba village, Malawi, a population of over 300 people, were provided with mosquito nets and became more able to sleep safely at night, reducing the risk of contracting malaria by up to 90%."

Bandawe Businesses

The maize mill

The maize mill is one of many projects instigated by Shaun at Bandawe. Maize is the staple food in Malawi but of course, before it can be consumed, it has to be ground into flour which is then used to cook sima (or nsima). Before Shaun’s mill was established, members of the community had to travel 6 kilometres (over three miles) to grind maize. Now, the maize mill is part of community life, and caters not only for families in Bandawe but also for other communities in the wider area. For many Malawians, especially in rural areas, growing enough maize to feed the family is a fundamental part of day-to-day existence.

The local store

The local store in Bandawe stocks a range of products for sale to  members of the local community. It generates an income which helps in our efforts towards self-sustenance for the community. 

The minibus service

The Bandawe minibus service provides transport for members of the local community who pay a small fee for journeys around the locality. The income generated by the service helps further in our efforts towards self-sustenance for the community.


The chicken farm

The chicken farm is a business that was established by Shaun and which has been completely rebuilt – a project Shaun had started in 2020. By rearing and occasionally restocking the farm, income can be generated for the community and food can be provided.

Latest News

You can keep up-to-date with all of our latest news by following us on Facebook.

Our sponsors

We have been helped along the way by a number of kind sponsors who have helped us with donations, support, equipment, clothing and freight transport. Special thanks go to Jigsaw Curzon House Day Nursery of Chester who have supported us year on year, especially around Christmas time with gifts for the large number of children in our centres, and to Transglobal Express Ltd of Bromborough who have been so kind over the years in arranging substantial shipments of clothing, sports kits, shoes, books, computers, etc. to Malawi. And not forgetting Shaun’s friends and colleagues at Urenco Nuclear Stewardship, Capenhurst.

And not forgetting you.

Curzon Park Day Nursery

Fiesta Havana

Liverpool FC



University of Chester

Deva Deliveries

Ethiopian Airlines