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Mr. Geoffrey Banda

When local charity Hope for a Child asked for my help to create a short film documenting their work in Africa, I readily accepted. So, in April of this year - me and Nik (Head of Marketing at HfaC) made the trip to ‘The warm heart of Africa’ – Malawi, to capture the life of Mr. Geoffrey Banda.

Africa is a place where so much, yet so little, is happening all the time. In a third-world country, you could be forgiven for thinking a lack of economic drive was a cause for much of the poverty. In truth, the streets bustle with businesses - at every turn you face another shop front, one more business, some other entrepreneurial spirit fighting desperately to carve a corner of the dirt out for themselves. The pace of life is both refreshing and frustrating. It’s as if every clock hand on the continent was blurred – schedules and appointments are lax - specific to morning/afternoon rather than an actual time.

After arriving in Lilongwe - we took the bumpy, dusty drive out to the fields and villages where we were working. The red earth is cracked and broken, submitting to the communities that live on top of it. Here, our western definition of ‘basic’ is truly redefined. The conditions for survival, literally are surviving the conditions.

And there in the midst of it all, stands Mr. Geoffrey Banda. A walking, talking bundle of hope and drive. An iconic example of the breakthrough cases that HfaC see through their partnership with local NGO’s. The NGO visits villages and communities, and by providing them with education & guidance – outlines the process of setting up a local ‘bank’. By pooling resources, the members of these ‘Village Banks’ then can take out loans to further their own business ventures (these range from Maize mills to Agriculture). It gives them the opportunity to access Capital, and more importantly - hope.

After spending days in Geoffrey’s village, hanging out with him & his family, and battling a stream of never-ending tech disasters - we gathered as much footage as possible and made the trip home.

The result is here – a short film outlining the transformation Mr. Geoffrey has brought to his family. It is truly a remarkable thing; people lifting themselves out of a dire situation.

Thankyou to Hope for a Child for the amazing opportunity, and their continuing amazing work. Become a member of the £5 Lottery Club today and help facilitate change in Malawi.

Author Luke Vidamour