Tools for Self Reliance

Tools For Self Reliance received one small grant of £2,500 for Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation. Solomon N’Jie nominated the charity.

As stated by Tools for Self Reliance, the project aim was to improve the lives of 120 tradespersons in the Kunthembwe district in the Southern region of Malawi. They wanted to address low income, inadequate food and other basic household needs, and high unemployment by funding practical vocational training for existing tradespeople.

Tools for Self Reliance trained 80 men and 40 women who were running existing businesses in one of the following trades: carpentry, tailoring, bicycle repair and building & construction. Their average profit was 30,426 kwacha (£1,316.56) per month. Only a quarter of participants could save a portion of their profit for future investments prior to the training. None of the participants dropped out, which was an achievement since the project took place over the Coronavirus pandemic.

The grant Wasps Legends Gifted helped fund a training programme for the 120 individuals. Within the programme, the trainees took part in practical training; this aimed at upskilling the trainees and giving them valuable skills to make new items to support their business expansion.
The syllabus was based on a baseline assessment of the participant’s skills and abilities and explicitly designed to address the gaps identified.

Business skills were also an essential part of the training programme. Many of the individuals felt this was the weakest area in their business. Once again, the topics were identified based on surveys and the main places the trainees felt would improve their profitability: time management, teamwork, customer care and costing and budgeting.

Trainees also participated in life skills. This covered HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, substance use and misuse, mental health, self-esteem, gender-based violence, sexuality, and decision making.


As an outcome of the training, the following was achieved:

  • 120 tradespersons successfully completed the project and reported an improvement in their practical skills, and all are making items or carrying out jobs that they were previously unable to do.
  • 108 trainees have reported a change in their attitudes and knowledge due to the life skills training.
  • All trainees have reported an increase in customers compared to pre-project figures.
  • The training helped local businesses to communicate and work together effectively


A quote from Tools for Self Reliance:

“The value of this (training) has been recognised by traditional community leaders, who have seen the value of their local craftspeople and are encouraging others to work together. There have also been some really positive one-off outcomes due to the training. One participant intends to stand for a local political role due to the leadership training they took part in. During graduation, one family member shared that her husband’s attitude to home finances has changed due to the life skills training, and he now shares financial information with her.”

At Wasp’s Legends, we are proud to have been able to fund this incredible project., which has made a significant difference to tradespersons in Southern Malawi.

For further information, please visit their website:

By Olivia N’Jie