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Our Story

Where it all began...

In 2014, Hanna embarked on a transformative volunteer teaching experience in Malawi during her gap year. Stationed at Bolera Palms Primary School in Mangochi, she served as a Standard 5 teacher. This role provided her with valuable firsthand experience in classroom management and fostering connections with students from a diverse cultural background.

CEO Hanna with her school pupils. Education.

Immersed in the community, Hanna witnessed the stark realities of extreme poverty and the daily struggles faced by many. This included the challenges inherent in local agriculture, a sector vital for daily life. This firsthand experience fostered a deep appreciation for the transformative power of education and its crucial role in empowering communities.

The combined impact of witnessing these challenges, including the struggles within agriculture, and actively contributing to education solidified Hanna's passion for a career path focused on international education. This pivotal experience became her defining mission.

Our Journey

In 2016, Hanna's path led her back to the UK, where she met her now-husband, Martyn. A shared love for adventure soon brought them to Malawi in 2019. There, Martyn experienced firsthand the country's captivating beauty, the genuine warmth of its people, and the immense potential for positive change. However, his travels also revealed the challenges Malawi faced, including poverty, malnutrition, and limited access to education.

The global pandemic of 2020 provided Hanna and Martyn with an unexpected pause. Though both held secure jobs, a sense of unfulfillment lingered. Their hearts yearned for a deeper connection to Malawi. It was during this introspective time, under lockdown restrictions, that they made a life-changing decision. They would dedicate the next two years to researching the situation in Malawi. To ensure maximum flexibility in their travels, they embarked on a creative project: transforming an old plumber's van into a comfortable campervan, their mobile home on wheels.

After seven months of dedicated work, Hanna and Martyn's makeshift home-on-wheels was finally complete. Braving the winter chills, they sawed, sanded, and painted their van into a comfortable and functional living space – all in preparation for their exciting journey. With their custom van ready and flights booked, they were eager to embark on their adventure.

However, the world had other plans. Just eleven days before their departure, Malawi closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred, Martyn's resourcefulness shone through. He managed to connect with a senior government official and secure special permission to enter the country for their charitable work. A huge sigh of relief!

In July 2021, Hanna and Martyn finally touched down in Malawi, ready to begin their long-awaited journey. They collected their van in Mchinji and embarked on a road trip across the country, visiting a total of 22 organisations which encompassed...

  • 10 Permaculture

  • 4 Technical Skills Colleges

  • 12 Nurseries

  • 17 Charities

  • 9 primary schools

  • 10 Education wrap-around services

Visiting Jacaranda
Meeting with the founder of AYISE charity
Saying goodbye to Caesar and family
Happy pupils with their poem
A lovely welcome at Mwana Africa school
Looking at the effect of cyclone Ana, Jan 2022.
Selecting trees to plant at Mkandwe Eco Village
Visiting Never Ending Food
'Mucking around' in Mchinji
A trip to Kusewera
Taking advantage of demonstrating the use of a toaster! Electronics class in Kauma
We collected our van from Mchinji border to start our journey

After visiting these various organisations, they found that the areas that need most support are Education (mainly curriculum and teaching style) and Nutrition and Land Use.

Hence, The Imago Foundation was born...

Imago - The final stage of a butterfly

  • An idealised mental image of the self

  • Process of growth and development

  • The butterfly effect: Small changes, profound outcomes.

The Imago Foundation Logo
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