Our proven track record in providing international support over the last 15 years is testimony to our belief that mental wellbeing should be a global aim.
In recognition of a specific mental health need, identified through Inspire staff who had knowledge of Malawi, a small team undertook an exploratory visit to the Ekwendendi area in the summer of 2007. This resulted in the birth of a partnering arrangement with existing groups providing Mental Health services in Malawi. The local groups included the Central Church of Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) and The Hospitaller Order of St John of God Community Services. Ongoing efforts by Inspire with the support of these partners have seen the establishment of a Malawi based and constituted Non Government Organisation (NGO) to promote mental health and support local residents who have been diagnosed with mental health needs in the Ekwendeni region.
Vwira Mental Health is owned, managed and controlled entirely by Malawian residents. In supporting Vwira, Inspire works alongside and in co-operation with existing providers of care and support in Malawi for people who have been diagnosed with severe and enduring mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia). Vwira is the word for ‘Help’ in the Chichewa language. Vwira Mental Health is the first Malawian owned voluntary sector community mental health service in Malawi.
A Board of Directors Chaired by a Professor based at the University of Mzuzu, comprises local representatives from the aforementioned faith-based NGOs, and employers based in Mzuzu.
Through Inspire funding and support, Vwira employs a local Malawian nurse with mental health training and experience as a project coordinator. Through the development of the Pilot Project to date, Vwira and St John of God have joined together to provide a pilot medication dispensing service. Vwira’s Project Coordinator provides regular symptom assessment, advocacy services, social programmes and emotional support for those registered with Vwira and their families. The Project Co-ordinator also trains and manages volunteers and reports monthly to the Board of Directors and to Inspire.
Volunteers bring immeasurable value to all areas of Inspire’s work to support people living with mental health conditions or an intellectual/learning disability. Find out more about how you get involved with our work.