Kibébé and There is Hope were founded respectively by wife and husband team Florisa and Innocent Magambi to serve the community in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi, which currently hosts close to 40,000 refugees.
The majority of people living in Dzaleka are stuck in a “protracted refugee situation”: they fled their homelands so long ago that they no longer have family or lands to return to. Many were born in the camp and now in their 20s. To free themselves from a reliance on charity - and get on the road to financial independence - they need training and vocational opportunities.
Their host community in the rural hills outside Lilongwe, meanwhile, has been barely surviving on subsistence farming for generations. When it comes to helping them unlock their potential and work their way to independence, education and vocational training is the key.
As partner charities, Kibébé’s profits are utilised by There is Hope to fund its education programmes at its vocational training centre. The programmes offer practical lessons in bricklaying, carpentry, welding, plumbing and tailoring irrespective of the students’ levels of literacy or previous academic achievement, widening job opportunities for those who had dropped out of school, got married very young, or were never able to attend due to poverty or disability. Some of the artisans now employed at Kibébé developed their tailoring skills thanks to There is Hope. Like their fellow artisans, they are now able to provide for their families and have a route out of poverty.
So warmly received in Malawi from the start, a group of skilled and passionate volunteers finally established Kibébé International in 2019 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization in the US to bring Kibébé to a broader international audience.