The History of Malawi and Good Soil Partners
Helping the Next Generation of Malawians Find True Independence
The Republic of Malawi became an independent country on July 6, 1964. Although this marked a significant moment in history, Malawi’s break from British colonial rule and influence was in reality just an event on a piece of paper. The lives of the people in Malawi remained unchanged. Malawi and its people existed with a predominantly “dependent” mindset. Poverty and a lack of education kept opportunities out of reach for most Malawians. People moved from generation to generation believing that “others will provide for us.”
Many well-intentioned western donors and supporters came to Malawi’s assistance providing for basic human needs. This support, however, was damaging. Malawi became more dependent on foreign support, never fully understanding and embracing the responsibilities that come with true independence.
Good Soil Partners Takes Root
The Good Soil Partners story began in 2010 when a group of people from the United States traveled to Malawi to assist at an orphanage. Upon arrival in Malawi, the group was diverted from the orphanage for three days. During this time, the group experienced the harsh realities of life in a Malawian village and a vision to help the children of Malawi was born—and a new non-profit organization was created to help carry out this mission.
Originally named Samba International, our organization focused on providing education scholarships to children. We also started a small soccer program to engage young people. The soccer program, however, became too large and was competing with our educational mission. We relaunched as Good Soil Partners to more firmly commit the organization to promote education, leadership, careers, and entrepreneurship.
During our first 10 years, we discovered that young people were not thriving with their education because so many other associated needs were not being met. They lacked food, clothing, and school materials. The caring relationships and support that they needed to thrive were severely lacking. There were also few opportunities to succeed beyond high school, no college support, and no leadership or entrepreneurial training. Most importantly, there was no hope for a brighter future.
A Non-Traditional Approach
Good Soil Partners takes a non-traditional approach to help the young people of Malawi. We believe that lasting empowerment and transformation comes from helping people realize they have the power to make positive change right within their own minds. We help the youth of Malawi succeed by actively pursuing and providing environments and opportunities for our student partners to learn, grow, and reach their potential. We call this process Planting Seeds of Hope in Good Soil. We do this by helping our student partners in the following areas of life:
- Learn their history and story
- Rewrite their story through a new identity
- Identify and build their character
- Establish their own personal purpose, vision, values, goals
- Live a generous life
- Pursue their dreams in education
- Develop into change agents
- Become entrepreneurs, excellent business people, and community leaders.
In Malawi, our student partners have a self-elected board of directors (we call it the Care Team) that operates as its own non-governmental organization (NGO) — Good Soil Partners of Malawi. Its primary responsibility is to care for all student partners and help them grow and reach their potential. The students also have a self-elected 14-member student body who act as mentors up through graduation and during training to become full partners within the organization. Our vision is to have hundreds and thousands of partners leading a self-sustainable Good Soil Partners of Malawi.
We know that lasting transformation, empowerment, and independence will take time. Our goal is to be good stewards of all resources while working diligently with care and focus to accomplish the goals placed before us.
The mission of Good Soil Partners is to help young people of Malawi succeed and experience true independence. This independence requires leaders who are intentional and willing to remain focused on important goals and avoiding influences that will try to steer them off course. Leadership is a high calling to be a servant, caring for others, and looking to the best interest of the community before one’s self. At Good Soil Partners, we’re training leaders who are willing to embrace and engage this challenge while always learning and growing in the areas that they do not yet understand.
Good Soil Partners is more than a name — it’s a way of being, it’s a way of leading, and it directly ties to our overall purpose and vision. We believe that when the right student partners are invited to join our organization, and we provide “Good Soil” experiences and opportunities, these student partners will grow and influence others — maybe the whole country of Malawi and possibly all of Africa.