The Adventure Continues – You are Invited!!


Invites you to an information session in support of clean water

On November 10th, 2019

Join us for a video presentation of current activities, get to know our team members in Malawi and connect with a surprise guest live from Malawi (we hope!!!).

Event Details

Information Session and Fundraiser 

Date: November 10th, 2019

Time: 11:30 AM

Place: Deer Park United Church

77 Deer Point Rd. S.E Calgary, AB

Come and hear about the latest Malawi Water Project milestones and join us for free lunch and beverages

The MalawiWaterProject provides clean water to rural villagers by constructing and installing the household biosand water filter and by providing education and training on proper sanitation and hygiene. Come and learn about the impact your support is having on the health of families in rural Malawi, Africa.




Annual Visit to Malawi

A Project Update from Helen Timoffee

Each year usually in May, I travel to visit the Project to give support to the teams and review how things are going. In early May my husband Jerry accompanied me to Malawi to meet with Sarah (our Country Director) and our teams, in order to review the Project and survey the damage done by recent flooding.

Many people in southern Malawi had been affected by the flooding. The water had receded so people were beginning to move back to their villages to start again.  We saw areas where crops were completely washed away and mud huts had collapsed.

The lodge where we were staying in Blantyre also provided accommodation for the UNICEF staff who were responsible for coordination of the flood relief efforts being done by many of the large non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We spoke with the Coordinator of UNICEF who will be in Malawi for the next two months. The NGOs had set up large camps with tents, food and water, as well as, portable toilets.  Now, the challenge for people affected by the flooding is to return to their villages, start rebuilding their homes and replanting their crops.  UNICEF will be closing the camps soon. We met with one of their staff, a structural engineer who is assessing the damage done to schools and other public buildings affected by the floods. It certainly takes a coordinated effort to provide the most effective disaster relief response.

We visited some of the villages affected by the flooding and where Biosand Water Filters had been installed by the Malawi Water Project. These villagers did not live near the camps, so they stayed in their villages and have not had assistance from the large NGOs. It is amazing to see the resilience of these families. They have already replanted their crops and are in the process of rebuilding their houses.  In order to help our beneficiaries get back on their feet, we gave each family a water bucket, a bag of maize flour, cooking oil, salt and sugar as well as a blanket. Our project team will also reinstall or replace their Biosand Filters as needed. The families are very thankful for the help you have given.

I was distressed to see the condition of some of the children in one of these villages. The children had distended tummies (which may be a sign of parasitic worms, or it could be malnutrition). They also had many grey hairs, which does indicate malnutrition. Parents may have received limited education on nutrition because they are far from a clinic or health facility.  Many of the children’s teeth were brown, which is unusual since in Malawi most children’s and adults’ teeth are sparkling white.

One of the highlights of our time with the team was to thank our long term volunteers who have been with us for several years. We gave all of our volunteers a backpack filled with food items, however, we gave bicycles to four of our volunteers who have worked with the team since the beginning of the Project in 2012. They live far away from the factory and walk long distances to come and help sift and wash sand and gravel. They are given lunch and bars of soap when they come. We awarded their hard work with a bicycle which was greatly appreciated by each of them and was encouraging for our new volunteers who have recently joined the Project.

Volunteers sifting sand and gravel to prepare the media to be installed in the filter.





Four Volunteers were presented with bicycles for their hard work and longstanding commitment to the Project.

Jerry worked with Derlinie, our Field Coordinator, reviewing the financial records and receipts.

Filter production at the Project’s South factory was delayed in March because of the flooding. Sarah and the team members were out assessing the conditions of the filters and delivering emergency supplies to families. Everything is back on track now, but there will be a shortage of food in a few months when the current maize runs out and the new crops are not ready to harvest. We have saved some of the funds we received for disaster relief to help provide  food for families when that crises arises.

We have been partnering with other organizations to bring clean water and provide teaching to villagers on proper sanitation and hygiene. One of our joint initiatives was the development of a Guidebook with St. John Malawi. This will be used as a reference by trained staff and volunteers who are working with villagers to improve their health and hygiene.

We are also partnering with Luke International, a Taiwanese organization and with Formidable Joy, a USA organization who are helping to provide filters to villagers living near Lake Malawi. Because of the rocky terrain and lack of access to bring in drilling equipment, it is not possible to drill a borehole so villagers need to use the lake as a source of their drinking water.

Communities that rely on Lake Malawi for their drinking water are in need of filters – as you can see, the lake is used for many purposes.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, our teams in Malawi, our local agents, and our board members in Canada, I would like to thank you for your kindness and for assisting the Malawi Water Project to help families who are in such need. We have witnessed the gratitude of the families whose health has been significantly improved because of your caring and concern.

You are part of the transformation that is truly making a difference



Update on Flooding in Malawi


As most of you are probably aware, there have been devastating floods in Malawi and other parts of South Saharan Africa. The flooding in Malawi happened in the area of our South Factory in Chikwawa. Sarah, our Country Director, and Mayamiko, her 6 month old daughter are fine. They are living in the city of Blantyre, which is a 45 minute drive from the factory. Their house is strong, although some leaks have appeared in the ceiling. They have been without hot water and have had very sporadic electricity for 12 days. The flooding has been terrible in the rural villages. The worst hit area was next to the Shire River. Many of the crops were washed away, livestock have been lost and houses constructed of mud or mud bricks as well as latrines have fallen in. One of our staff lost his house. People have died mainly from their mud huts falling on them.

We were fortunate that all of our team members and volunteers are safe but many of our beneficiaries who have received filters have lost their houses. People who have lost their homes are staying at the church near the factory. They have been using our cooking facilities at the factory and we have been supplying some food. Some of the filters in people’s homes have been buried or broken. We will replace those filters.

Below is a video clip of our team pulling a filter out of collapsed house.


Many people have had to construct makeshift shelters until they can rebuild their houses.


Most people who still have filters are sharing their filters with neighbours. There is a concern that there will be an outbreak of cholera, so the filters that are still working will be crucial.

Sarah has received donations from local Malawians to purchase supplies and purchased buckets with 5KGs of maize, mbala’s (little cast iron stoves), blankets, clothes, etc. She has distributed the supplies with the Government Environmental Disaster worker to a community that was devastated by the flooding. The day I spoke with her she was exhausted.

Many disaster relief organizations are mobilizing. Large camps have been set up. After the emergency response is complete, the greater need will be to help people rebuild their houses and re-plant their crops. They will have to wait 3 months for the maize to be harvested. There will be a food shortage before their crops can be harvested. Already there is a shortage of maize to purchase.

The neighbouring country of Mozambique was hit extremely hard by cyclone Idai and our thoughts and prayers are with those so terribly affected. A large camp has been set up in southern Malawi near the Mozambique border. We will continue to do what we can in the villages we are currently working with.

We will be able to help our beneficiaries by replacing some of the items they have lost, such as their filters, water containers, buckets, blankets, clothes, mosquito nets and emergency food.

If you would like to assist please click here  and enter Heathy Lives International or Malawi Water Project. Please indicate disaster assistance in the “Add a Comment” section. Any funds you can provide will help families survive this terrible disaster.






Best Wishes for 2019


Our Project Team in Malawi and our Volunteer Management Team in Canada would like to wish you and your family a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Thank you to all of our donors and volunteers for a most successful year, making a huge difference in the lives of families in rural Malawi who now are drinking clean water.


woman with filter

We have great news, too!  We reached our $10,000 matching donation that was announced earlier in December.  This gift and all your other generous support have helped make diseases caused by contaminated water a thing of the past for the families we have served.

And in case you haven’t heard, the Malawi Water Project has now installed over 2050 Biosand Water Filters, providing clean water to 14,700 people!

As well, we have conducted numerous community health meetings which have provided education on proper sanitation and hygiene to nearly 13,700 people.

wash training

We are excited about new opportunities to provide biosand water filters to villagers in more remote areas of Malawi and to provide training to families who are anxious to learn about proper sanitation and hygiene.  Stay tuned for updates on our activities in 2019!


Zikomo Kwambiri ~ Thank You



Wonderful News! We have a matching donation!


We are so grateful to have a donor who has stepped forward and offered to match every donation made to the Malawi Water Project before December 31st, to a maximum of $10,000.
If you haven’t already done so, then don’t miss the opportunity to donate soon so that your donation can be doubled! That’s right doubled!

This donation could not have come at a better time as we have joined a WASH(Water Sanitation and Hygiene) cluster of non-government and government officials working toward eliminating potentially deadly cholera in targeted villages. There have been 784 cases of cholera with 27 deaths in Malawi in 2018.  Unfortunately, this disease seems to strike at the hottest time of the year leaving patients with high fevers, uncontrollable diarrhea and dehydration in a tent separated from the general hospital population, with no air conditioning in 45 degree weather.

We would really like to arm as many communities as possible over the next year with knowledge about proper sanitation and hygiene and provide them with Biosand Water Filters so they have access to clean water.


Your kind donation will be put to good use and provide significant benefits. I’m continually reminded how fortunate we are to have clean drinking water just by turning on our tap. Our goal is to bring clean water and teach proper sanitation and hygiene to as many people living in remote areas of Malawi as possible. Together, we can help villagers protect themselves from devastating water borne diseases.


All donations will be matched up to a total of $10,000 until the end of the year! So please join us this Holiday Season and act now to help ensure more families can stay happy and healthy.

Fun at the Music for Malawi Concert


Current News November 2018

Another fun and successful event for the Malawi Water Project occurred on November 3rd, 2018. With great music coordinated by our musical director Louise Forsyth, we enjoyed an evening filled with a variety of musical entertainment.



The Spirit Singers entertained us with a variety of uplifting songs and several soloists in the group performed passionate selections.



Our musical performers included renowned Calgary folk singer Barry Luft and a new a cappella group on the Calgary music scene known as Conchord.



The food, wine and silent auction provided a fun time during intermission. Thank you to  Darlene Kemp and Bernadette O’Connor for their work on the silent auction. The food and hall arrangement done by Nancy Swerhun, Andrea Collins and Teana Pickles couldn’t have been better.



The wine and beverages were well tended by Onyema, Tito and Craig.



Our volunteers did a fantastic job explaining the functioning of the biosand water filter and taking donations from all of our faithful supporters.



Gerry Simon kept things moving as our Master of Ceremonies and Sarah Falconer who has been our country manager in Malawi for the past two and a half years provided us with an explanation of the hardships and joys of living in a rural village in Malawi.



Photos are courtesy of Richard Betts photography. Check out his amazing work at 

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 8.42.04 AM

From our management team in Canada

Thank you to all of the performers, volunteers and donors who supported this event.  The support means such a great deal to the families who benefit from clean water which reduces illness and improves productivity and enjoyment of life for thousands of villagers living in rural Malawi.


You Are Invited !

Music for Malawi Concert

Sneak preview of  fantastic silent auction items here


Picture of Microphone

What do Music, Wine and Water Have in Common?

They are all happening at
Music For Malawi

 A concert in support of clean water 

Music staff

Join us in supporting the work being done in Malawi by coming out to see “Musical Friends of the Malawi Water Project”  perform a variety of music for you to enjoy. Our artists include folk singer Barry Luft, A capella group Conchord and other noteworthy performers. 

Enjoy listening to live music, have a glass of wine or other beverage, cheese and desserts and bid on fantastic silent auction items. Go to Sneak Preview above to view some of these auction items.

Adults:         $30 Saturday Deer Park United Church
Under 13:    Free November 3, 2018 77 Deer Point Rd. SE.
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Calgary, AB


Our goal is to improve health and alleviate suffering by teaching villagers in Malawi about sanitation and hygiene, providing them with biosand water filters and training them on filter building and use.


Bring your family and friends for an inspiring, enlightening and fun evening to help support this project.


“Providing Clean Water, Saving Lives”