Students Without Borders is a WUSC and CECI program that enables Canadian university and college students to participate in exciting, volunteer learning opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Malawi tea!

It’s been awesome two months since I arrived here in Malawi. As a communications volunteer, my mandate here is to support communications efforts of WUSC Malawi office and its partners as well as documenting their activities. It’s a great mandate that has allowed me to learn a lot about WUSC Malawi programs, visit different parts of the country, and meet wonderful people of this warm heart of Africa.

In Malawi, WUSC is implanting the Uniterra 3 program that focuses on improving social economic conditions of youth and women working in the dairy, legumes, and tea sectors. So far, my focus has been on the tea sector.

Interviewing an Assistant Human Resource Officer from one of the tea estates in Malawi about the state of abuses against women working in tea industry.

Interviewing an Assistant Human Resource Officer from one of the tea estates in Malawi about the state of abuses against women working in tea industry.

I spent my second week in Malawi in the southern region where most tea is grown. From all the people I met –the secretariat of the Tea Association of Malawi, workers and smallholder farmers – I realized how passionate they are about improving the quality of the tea they produce and the conditions of workers. There are different challenges facing the industry and Uniterra’s intervention uses the market systems approach that solves a problem by firstly identifying its root causes.

Competing in the international market is one of the major challenges facing Malawi tea, so through the Uniterra program, WUSC held a workshop to explore possibilities of selling Malawi tea on the north American market particularly in Canada at a competitive price. Read my story about the workshop here.

I had a chance to test different teas grown here and I found them delicious. There is no doubt that I will buy some to take home when I leave. Believe me, if you ever come to Malawi you will like its tea!

Specialty tea tasting at Satemwa tea factory.

Specialty tea tasting at Satemwa tea factory.

As I continue enjoying Malawi tea and being here, in general, I can’t wait to take on future assignments that include assisting WUSC’s partners establish/improve their communications platforms and writing about the wonderful job being done by my fellow Uniterra volunteers. To keep up with WUSC’s work in Malawi check this Facebook Page.

ABOUT MALAWI TEA

Tea is the second largest generator of foreign exchange for Malawi and the largest formal private employer in the country with around 60,000 employees 30% of whom are women. It is estimated that around 2.5 million Malawians benefit from the industry through the trickle-down effect.