The Charity

Hooke Court in Malawi was established as a UK charity in 2015 having been involved with 9 schools in the Bandawe area of Malawi since 2011. During the summer of 2019 we expanded and started working in the neighbouring Chintheche zone which comprises of 13 schools. The charity was set up with 8 trustees and has now increased to 10 - most of whom are highly qualified teachers and Head Teachers.

Our charity aims to help improve standards of primary education in the these schools to give advice, provide teacher training, maths and English lessons to the children in and out of the classroom as well as to fund raise to give the schools basic resources.

Hooke Court Malawi Volunteers

Our charity aims to:

  • Recruit volunteers from the UK to share their expertise with the teachers and children in Malawi.
  • Work with local Education Advisors, Head Teachers and teachers to develop teaching skills and provide training.
  • Repair and decorate classrooms with educational displays to enhance the learning experience of all involved.
  • Provide classroom teaching resources including individual blackboards, pens, exercise books, text books, reading books, chalk, pens etc...
  • Provide fun programmes for the children that allow them to think creatively and provide solutions to problems.
  • Forge links between schools in the UK and in Malawi.
  • Provide sponsorship for children to attend secondary education.
Volunteer smilingwith a disabled Malawi school girl
Volunteer teaching children how to sew


Mandy Cooper, trustee and her husband Pete, have spent many months in Malawi over recent years and have developed a strong relationship with the teachers in the Bandawe area of Malawi. As a result of this it was decided that Hooke Court would become involved in helping the schools in this area. Since 2014 we have been taking groups of volunteers to help implement phonics in the schools, provide team building activities for the children and carry out minor repair and maintenance in the classrooms. In August 2015 a party of 17 volunteers travelled to Malawi to work with the teachers and children. We raised money to pay for renovations to a girl’s boarding house, repair and resource some classrooms and provide a few basic resources for two schools. Two UK schools also forged links with 2 Malawi schools.

In September 2015 the Hooke Court in Malawi Charity was formed.

A reading lesson from a volunteer
Children playing under a parachute

Why we do it

In 2015 the World Bank ranked Malawi as the poorest country in the world based on GDP. Only 40 – 50% of children complete primary education and 11% complete secondary education.

The Government made primary school education free for all children a few years ago but refrained from providing the schools with any more funding, resources or infrastructure to support this initiative. Consequently, teachers are faced with classes of 100 – 120 or more children with no resources except possibly a few desks. The parents are too poor to provide pencils and paper, the school has no money to buy such items making learning a very difficult task.

The Government have more recently stipulated that all children from 5 years old are to be taught everything in English. Previously, this was compulsory from 11 years old. Teachers need to have a comprehensive understanding of the English language and ways of teaching reading to enable this to be implemented.

At 13 years old, the children must take a test to enable them to enter into secondary education. The cost of this test is 50p, which is far too expensive for most so the majority of children leave school and join their parents farming for survival.

Class lesson outside under the shelter of a tree

Get Involved!

‘a fabulous opportunity for us to develop our skills and knowledge as well as helping others.’


GET INVOLVED! - Join our team of volunteers who go out for 2 weeks in August to help teach and maintain the local schools.

Teaching Volunteers

  • Work with teachers and children to help develop teaching methods and classroom management techniques within their own environment.
  • Provide plans and resources the teachers can use and adopt for their own classes.
Volunteer teaching young Malawi school children

General Volunteers

  • Decorate classrooms and display teaching resources.
  • Maintain and repair classrooms and resources.
  • Help maintain 130 bikes that Prodigal Bikes of Crewkerne kindly provided for the teachers within Bandawe and Chintheche.
  • Play sports with the children as well as games and help with creative activities.
Volunteers repairing and sorting books in Malawi school library

School Partnership

  • Forge a link between your school in the UK and a school in Malawi. We can facilitate this link – take out letters, bring replies back, provide a means to transfer funds, ensure funds are spent correctly and provide evidence.
  • Fundraise for the school - £500 approx a year is enough to provide basic exercise books and pencils for the whole school. It costs £100 to paint one classroom and provide general maintenance; £50 would provide enough individual blackboards for 1 class.
  • Make wall displays for the classrooms.
Malawi School Children Smiling and Holding Up donated school learning equipment
Malawi school girls smiling and holding up donated pencil cases

Join our team of volunteers!

Find out more...

‘I have learnt a lot about myself and my outlook. Loved the project, beyond my expectations’

Latest News

August 2023

Summer Programme 2023

It was so amazing to return to Malawi after so many years. Our last visit was in 2019 before covid. Everyone was so excited to see us and so welcoming towards us. We had no idea what to expect after such a long time and although lots of faces had changed, much also remained the same.

Mandy, Pete, Sarah and Chris and their family were joined by Amelia, Archie, Sophie, Helen, Janet, Gilly and Fiona all eager to get to work in both the Bandawe and Chintheche zones.

Sadly Mandy and Pete weren’t able to remain with us for the whole time due to a fall and Mandy fracturing her hip. Miraculously she was air lifted out of Malawi to Johannesburg where they operated on her and medi vacced her back to the UK.

The Teaching

We spent a week teaching in each zone, using 2 bases within the zones to aid transport for the teachers. This year Chris and Helen worked with teachers and children on phonics and maths. Florence, Archie and Amelia devised a series of lessons in English, Geography and Science for the older children. Although only 17 and 18 years old, they did an amazing job of planning and preparing their lessons, delivering them and providing fun and informative activities for the Malawi children.

As always the teachers were incredibly grateful towards us for our time and effort and went away with lots of donated items for their respective schools.

At the end of the teaching we were in a position to choose the winner of the HCiM Cup for the best school in Bandawe zone – Seka School.

SEN room

Whilst teaching was happening, Janet, a retired SEN teacher, along with Sophie, Nia and Gilly set about decorating and resourcing the SEN classroom in Bandawe school. Pictures were painted on the walls, mattresses were bought and covered with bright material, displays put up around the room, soft toys and quiet areas set up. Janet spent time showing the teachers the various resources she had brought and how best to use them. It was the perfect classroom make over!

Sports / Crafts

The afternoons were spent once again playing football and netball as well as providing a variety of craft activities for the children. Archie, Amelia, Sophie, Nia, Tilly and Florence were pivotal in providing these activities. Tilly, who has been visiting Malawi since she was 2 years old and now 13 took charge of classrooms full of children on many occasions making sure they all had something to do and cleared up properly afterwards!

Sponsored Pupils

Fiona did an amazing job of meeting up with all the pupils who have a sponsor in the UK. She was able to hand out gifts from the UK and receive thank you letters from the children for their sponsors. During the visit we also had the lovely surprise of seeing Edwin and Timothy, two boys who we sponsored previously. They remained with us for a few days to help with the teaching and were full of news of university life and the difference their sponsorship had made to them.

As well as this, we also met with the Head Masters of two local secondary schools to make sure all was well with our sponsored children and to ensure links were maintained.

Sponsored / Partner Schools

Fiona again organized the purchase of specific items such as paint and termite killer! We also had time to buy exercise books, pens, pencils, flip charts, chalk and markers for all 23 schools we sponsor.


Thank you to Prodigal Bikes in Crewkerne for the 180 bikes we now have in the Bandawe and Chintheche zones. Fiona spent two days checking that all were still there and checking for repairs. We also checked the spares and organized Christopher to teach bicycle repair to the children in the school for the hearing impaired.


As a result of all the generous donations we received, we were able to distribute 100 sustainable sanitary kits donated by the wonderful ladies in Yeovil, 100 pencil cases, bags of clothes, footballs and netballs kindly donated by Archie and 100 school in a bags.

Thank you so much to all your support. Through your kind generosity we could provide so much to these children who would otherwise have nothing. It was so lovely to see so many old school uniforms still being worn this summer. Everything you donate is used and used. THANK YOU!

Contact Us

If you would like to Volunteer, Donate or have any questions in regards to the Charity, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Hooke Court in Malawi
Hooke Court
Dorset DT8 3NX
Telephone: 01308 862260

A happy volunteer enjoying her time with the local school children