1 out of every 6 children in Malawi
is considered vulnerable.
Malawi is the 9th poorest country in the world
1.3 million children are orphans
61% of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day
Right now, 1 in 6 children in the East African nation of Malawi is considered vulnerable. These children are living below the poverty line in need of school supplies, food, and support right now. The good news is that we are addressing this age-old problem in a revolutionary way: helping children today while building the financial capacity of their communities for tomorrow.
Of children do not complete middle school
Of children drop out of school by the fourth grade.
Of children under five are stunted by malnutrition.
But the entrepreneurial spirit of the local people is greater. It creates the opportunity to have lasting change on Malawi’s children. One of the biggest myths is that children are placed in institutions because they have no parents. The truth is that most are actually in institutions because their parents or extended family cannot afford to feed, clothe, and educate them. goods for good equips local people with the resources to pull themselves out of poverty and raise these children in their home villages, in a nurturing environment, surrounded by friends and family.
To address this great need, we create innovative solutions for Malawi and its orphans. These solutions ultimately result in sustainable community support and increased orphan care services.
We build the financial capacity of communities in Africa
so they can provide orphan care.
nearly 80,000 vulnerable children receiving better care
10 small businesses launched
$26,000 generated from
We approach orphan care in a revolutionary way, by applying the proven principles of microenterprise. We believe this is how we will once and for all tackle the orphan crisis; and our community partners agree. We partner directly with Malawian community centers to equip them with the resources and industry knowledge required to launch successful small businesses. In so doing, they become fiscally equipped to care for orphans. They also create jobs and boost the local economy.
There is a strong market for affordable poultry in Malawi and an attractive balance of risk versus return. Chickens are resilient to climate fluctuations during the dry and rainy seasons and do not require as much land as larger animals that graze. We give our farms competitive advantages by installing green technologies, such as drip irrigation, solar power, and rocket stove heating to keep our chicks healthy and warm.
Capitalizing on the success of our Tailor Training Program, we ensure our tailors have the opportunity to turn their skills into income. Tailors in Malawi often run their own private shops, limiting their ability to source large contracts and grow their businesses. We demonstrate the power of jointly owned enterprises by helping our tailors form co-ops and win major clothing and accessory contracts in both the African and U.S. marketplaces. In 2012, one community center’s co-op sewed over 300 tote bags using excess fabric from KnollTextiles and designs by Cynthia Vincent for sale across the United States. Other co-ops have completed contracts for school uniforms and work suits for agriculture companies.
90% of Malawians support themselves through subsistence farming, harvesting crops to feed their families.1 This means that almost all Malawians are engaged in agriculture, not for profit, but as a means of survival. It also means that agricultural knowledge is widespread. Many children grow up helping their relatives grow food for the family. We give our community centers the chance to turn farming for survival into farming for profit.
Goods such as pens, shoes, and fabric met the immediate needs of orphans. Now, we do good by strengthening the long-term financial capacity of community centers while still addressing the urgent need to keep orphaned children in school.
Our work has immediate results and lasting impact.
10 small businesses launched
nearly 80,000 vulnerable children supported since our founding
Over 419 adults trained in marketable skills
Funded and expanded orphan service programs, feeding programs, school scholarships, and more
Began and grew the community centers’ savings funds
Trained adults in entrepreneurship, bookkeeping and chicken rearing
10 small businesses launched
30% increased school attendance
419 people trained in marketable skills
Because goods for good works in partnership with communities, a little good goes a long way with us. When you make one community center financially sustainable, you help support its satellite centers, and tens of thousands of children in surrounding villages. That’s how we turn each good into a greater good.
1.4 million pens provided
289,865 shoes provided
5,511 children given de-worming treatments with their shoes
39,959 uniforms and garments created with donated fabric
165,843 meters of fabric repurposed
Help us help now.
Interested in traveling to Malawi on a goods for good partner trip? Let us know and our team will contact you with more about our upcoming partner trips.
Are you a college student interested in interning in our Malawi office for the summer? Tell us more about yourself and a member of our team will be in touch.
The goods for good Young Professionals Committee (YPC) is a group of talented and committed professionals, in their 20s and 30s, who donate their time and diverse skills to GFG projects. In addition the YPC hosts our winter fundraising event, the Party For Good. Interested in joining? Tell us more about yourself.
Buy a limited edition KnollTextiles bracelet embellished with crystals from Swarovski® and 100% of the revenue will benefit goods for good.Visit site
Sign up for Amazon Smile and a donation will be made to goods for good every time you shop.Visit site
Buy a limited edition Luzi Tote by Khrima that benefits the Tailoring Program at Luzi Community Center.
Interested in hosting an event to support goods for good? Let us know and our team will contact you about setting it up.
Interested in fundraising for goods for good? Start a crowd funding campaign. Tell us more about yourself and we will provide the tools to get you started!
We got started by listening to our partners.
goods for good builds the financial capacity of communities in Africa so they can provide orphan care.
Founder & Executive Director
Having lost her father at a young age, Melissa knows firsthand how losing a parent changes the course of a child’s life. Due in part to this experience, Melissa has committed herself to ensuring that the death of a parent does not determine a child’s fate. In 2005 Melissa’s position at the United Nations took her to Malawi, an African country where one million of the country’s 16 million people are orphans. She brought with her basic goods, such as school supplies, and saw the immediate and profound impact they had on Malawi’s children.
Struck by the country’s orphan crisis, the altruistic and entrepreneurial spirit of local leaders, and the big impact of this seemingly simple concept, Melissa founded goods for good. Melissa set up two offices, one in New York City and the other in
the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe. She spent her first year as the
Executive Director of goods for good in Malawi traveling from
village to village, forging partnerships with local community
centers. Today, these relationships are the foundation of goods for good’s success. In 2012, Melissa and her team launched Community Enterprise in order to couple the immediate impact of goods with the long-term impact of financial sustainability. Click here to learn more about Community Enterprise and how to get involved.
Rebecca Levy Anikstein, Esq.
Managing Director, Julian Wolf
Senior Vice President, Citigroup
Bank of America
Jeremy Kaplan, MBA
Chief Operating Officer, SK Properties
Business Transformation Practice Director,
Principle, Metanoia Global Inc.
Melissa Kushner, MPA
Founder & Executive Director, goods for good
Mark L. Lakin, Esq.
Co-Founder, Epic Road
Fine Art Travel Photographer
Attorney at Law
Berkenkamp Realty Group
Chief of Party, Abt Associates
Esnath J. Kalyati
Consultant in Gender, Early Childhood and Social Development
Legal Practitioner, Chibambo & Company
Lecturer, Blantyre International University