Norwich Dedza Partnership

The Norwich-Dedza Partnership is a charity that develops and supports practical links between Norwich, UK and Dedza District in central Malawi. We believe there are mutual benefits from collaboration leading to a greater appreciation of the differences and similarities in ways of life in the two areas. Projects so far have covered IT, Health, Education, Tourism, Economic Development and Community Facilities. The Partnership welcomes ideas for developing new or existing projects and is grateful for contributions of time, materials or money.

Norwich Dedza Partnership – website latest news

Stop press – We’ve done it!

All the funds the Partnership set out to raise to continue the construction the second wing of the dormitory have been secured. The funding has come from the crowdfunding pitch, additional donations, grant funding from the Hilden Charitable Fund and a very generous commitment from a grant giving trust to match fund what we raised. The total secured is a staggering £21,900.

A huge thank you to everyone who pledged support to the girls at Umbwi secondary school. The school can now bring the dormitory up to a condition were it can be used.

By helping the school use the second wing of the dormitory , this will bring a number of positive benefits to the girls. This includes:

  • the girls will have their own bed and personal space
  • it will enable the girls to live in a safer environment
  • it will encourage more rural girls to stay at school for the full 4 years and reduce the dropout rate
  • it will support the Senior Chief of Dedza’s fight to reduce early marriage and childbirth
  • the hostel will facilitate more girls attending school
If you wish to support any ongoing schemes such as the school bursaries, please get in touch.

The two new girls' dormitories

The two new girls' dormitories from the air.

Covid: Students return to school

Students return to school.


Thankfully, Covid 19 has so far been limited in Malawi. Transmission may be reduced as most people live in rural villages and do not travel outside their communities. However, testing is limited and other widespread illnesses such as malaria could be disguising the real figures. Initial infections were from people returning from India, UK and South Africa. The Government took early precautions such as closing schools, shutting the airport and checking people crossing the land borders. Most facilities, including schools have now been re-opened.


School Terms

Schools in Malawi were closed in March for the third term of the 2019/20 school year. They re-opened in Sept to teach the lessons of that delayed term and to administer the school leaving exams. The next school year will be carried out as three short terms with two-week holidays between January and October 2021. Normal school years will start again after that.

School visit in 2019

School visit in 2019.


We were not able to visit Dedza in 2020 because of Covid 19. We have helped 10 schools to make successful applications for funds from the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning Programme. This will enable a teacher from each the Norfolk and Dedza schools to make reciprocal visits, as has occurred in the past. The visits will take place when Covid 19 conditions allow. As part of this programme, the schools carry out collaborative projects based on one of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. They have chosen to work on gender equality.


Umbwi School Girls’ Dormitory

We are helping Umbwi Secondary School find funds to build a girls’ dormitory to replace a run-down building. The first wing has been completed. It provides 20 bedroom spaces each with bunkbeds and lockers, indoor washbasins, toilets and showers. The school has moved all the girls into the new building so they can use the new facilities. There is still overcrowding.

We are now raising funds towards the £60,000 needed for second wing. So far, we have received £37,120 – £3,120 from individuals, £10,000 from the Jephcott Charitable Trust, £10,000 from the Alan and Nestor Ferguson Trust, £5,000 from the W F Southall Trust, £5,000 from the Rockspring Charitable Trust, £3,000 from Arcaid and £1,000 from the Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust. We have sent money to Umbwi and they have completed building the foundations and exterior walls. If you know of any organisations to which we could apply for further funding, please let us know.

Bedroom in new dormitory

Bedroom in new dormitory.

Second Wing Under Construction

Second wing under construction.

Students receive pants, pads and soap

Students receive pants, pads and soap.

Sanitary pads.

Many Dedza schoolgirls are too poor to afford sanitary products. We provide money for pants, washable sanitary pads and soap for washing the pads to 75 girls at Umbwi Secondary School. The items are bought locally by the school and distributed to the girls most in need. The sanitary pads are made by the local Chongoni Women’s Sewing Group, whom we support. This provides the women with extra income and enables the girls to attend classes in more comfort.