Jacaranda UK Foundation

marie da silva and The jacaranda School for orphans

What we do

How we produce sustainable results, and Break the Cycle

We have, in particular, a very close relationship with The Jacaranda School for Orphans, in Limbe, Malawi. We help them employ teachers, build and maintain classrooms, and generally look after the children.

Founded by Malawian Marie Da Sliva, the school looks after over 400 children, 95% of whom have been orphaned by AIDS, providing them with free primary and secondary education, healthcare, clothing and food.

The school's mission is to provide for these children from nursery school through higher education and employment. This includes a nursery school, primary and secondary schools and a Technical and Vocational college to help guide students through their education. 

Locally led

We believe that change works best when it is led by local people.  We engage the local community to help us decide what will work best. 

Marie Da Silva founded The Jacaranda School in her childhood home in 2002 whilst working as a nanny in the USA after the school that had previously cared for the children closed down.

She sent one third of her salary every month to fund the school, and convinced a large group of her nanny friends to donate monthly too, just so the children had somewhere safe to learn. 

Marie now runs the school full time with her husband and the school’s Executive Director Luc Deschamps, dividing her time between Malawi and the USA, where she goes regularly to raise money for the school.

Marie was deservedly recognised in 2008 by being named a CNN Hero.

who do we support?



We believe that real change can only be made on small, local levels where effects can be sustained. We think that a bottom-up approach can help communities grow and evolve.

We support projects that teach children that they can be self sufficient, that they don’t need pity, that they don’t need overseas help to grow, that they can play a leading role in driving Malawi forwards to a brighter future.

We look to support and develop the talents the children have to empower them with the skills that the world wants to see, and that can contribute to the brighter future of their country. We also try to encourage overseas supporters to become directly involved for positive reasons, not because they feel sorry for the children. 

We also support projects to empower local women to support themselves and their families, allowing their children to stay in school, graduate and find jobs, Breaking the Cycle of poverty once and for all. 

Click below to watch a CNN film about Marie

Our mission is to give orphans in Malawi a chance at a better life. We help give them access to quality, free nursery, primary and secondary education, and job-focussed skills training so they can find employment and Break the Cycle of poverty they were born into.

We support children from nursery to college. We want a system whereby children receive a quality, free education to set them up for a productive and successful professional life.

We believe that true change only occurs when it is locally rooted and sustainable,
so we only work with Malawian-led projects that share our goals and produce long-lasting results. This way we know that change will take root and ensure we Break the Cycle of poverty for good, affecting change that will impact the community for generations to come.

OUR Method

high quality
We believe in completing fewer projects to a high standard, rather than spread ourselves thinly and lower the quality of delivery.