Meet Our Staff

Mary Phiri

Mary Phiri is SAFE’s National ECD/OVC and Gogo Coordinator. She has a BA in Child and Youth Care from the      University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, through the Early Childhood Virtual University (ECDVU), sponsored by UNICEF-Malawi, under the auspices of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, awarded in 2004.

Since then, Mary has worked in collaboration with Government and UNICEF to train District Social Welfare Officers and project officers from NGOs that are implementing ECD/OVC programs in the country. She has also been involved in building the capacity of parents and volunteers that are caring for orphans and other vulnerable children in Community-Based Child Care Centers (CBCCs), through ECD training workshops organized at both district and national levels. She has also participated in the development of key ECD documents and other teaching and learning materials, like the ECD Policy, Basic Training Manual, CBCC Profile, and Caregivers Guide.

Mary has ten years experience in child and youth care, the development of culturally appropriate curriculum for young children, use of local stories, and development of materials using locally available resources for children’s play at home, in CBCCs and pre-schools.

Prior to joining SAFE in 2006, Mary was the first Director of the Chirunga Early Childhood Center, the “lab school” for Chancellor College’s Department of Home Economics, which has run an Early Childhood Development, Care, and Education Program since 1998.

Mary has been married since 1983, and has four children.

Moira Chimombo

Moira Chimombo is, since January 2009, Executive Director of SAFE, having served as Director of Education from 2003 to 2008, and previously, in a part-time voluntary capacity, as Director of Curriculum Development. She has been the major contributing writer to the SAFE Education Program, which now has an eight-year curriculum for primary and secondary schools, as well as a six-week course for college students. She has also been involved in training teachers to implement the WHY WAIT? Curriculum in Malaŵi, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Lesotho.

Moira is retired Professor of Education at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, where she lectured in the area of Language Teacher Education. She holds an EdD in TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Teachers’ College, Columbia University, New York. She has published internationally, particularly on linguistics, applied linguistics, and language teaching and learning, as well as on AIDS education. She co-authored The Power of Discourse and The Culture of Democracy. She has also lectured internationally: in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, as well as in several African countries.

She has served as external examiner and curriculum consultant in several southern African countries. Before her retirement she was a member of the primary and secondary curriculum review panels in Malaŵi, having served at different times as a consultant on reading, language teaching methods, and cross-curricular AIDS education.

She has been married since 1973 and is the mother of three children. Her husband, Steve is retired Professor of English at Chancellor College, University of Malaŵi, and is one of Malaŵi’s best-known writers. His retelling of numerous Malaŵian/African folk stories has provided the framework for the primary WHY WAIT? Curriculum for grades 5 through 8.

Dick Day

Dick Day is co-founder of Sub-Saharan African Family Enrichment (SAFE), a non-governmental organization registered in Malawi.  He is currently serving as Executive Director of SAFE.  He is series editor of WHY WAIT? Truth for Youth educational program and author of background information.

Formerly, he taught for 12 years at Chancellor College, University of Malawi where he lectured as an Associate Professor in the disciplines of Human Ecology and Family Studies.  He holds two post-graduate degrees: one in Marital and Family Therapy, from Azusa Pacific University and the other in Theology, from Talbot Seminary.  As a licensed Marriage, Family and Child Counselor, Dick has spent thousands of hours counseling youth, parents and families.

He has co-authored best selling Christian books: WHY WAIT? What You Need to Know About the Teen Sexuality Crisis and How To Be a Hero To Your Kids; he was contributing author to the award winning Discipling the Young Person. Dick has scripted and appeared in numerous films and video productions on the subjects of human development, family, and HIV/AIDS from a Biblical worldview..  He has lectured internationally in over 29 countries, including North America, Latin America, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe and Africa; and has addressed audiences in over 100 college and university campuses.  Dick has served as a consultant to international agencies, governmental agencies and Christian organizations. He has researched and written a book on AIDS in Africa.

Dick and his wife, Charlotte have been married 50 years and are the parents of six children and grandparents of 13, great grandparents of one.  The two have conducted Marriage and Family Enrichment Seminars on three continents.  The Days have made Malawi, Africa their home since 1990.

Charlotte Day

Charlotte Day is currently Director of ECD/OVC and Gogos for SAFE. She has facilitated a community-based program for rural poor children which benefits the youngest physically, spiritually, and psycho-socially, by building the capacity and self-confidence in the parents and caregivers. She initiated Gogo Grandmothers—a program of care and support for the elderly grandparents caring for AIDS orphans in the villages of Malawi. It links grandparents from the West with grandparents in Africa.

Charlotte received her BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, and her MA in Family Resource Management from California State University at Long Beach. She later got a second MA from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, through the Early Childhood Virtual University (ECDVU).

She was on the faculty of Chancellor College, University of Malawi, for 12 years, 1992-2003, and was Head of the Department of Home Economics for six years. She taught courses on a variety of aspects of Human Ecology, and initiated courses on Early Childhood Care, Development, and Education in the department. She was instrumental in establishing a lab pre-school built on campus: Chirunga Early Childhood Center.

She has facilitated workshops and done consultancies in United States, Europe, and several countries in Africa, including Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Namibia, and South Africa. She has served on task forces for children’s issues for the Malawi Government and international agencies, and is a member of Malawi’s National ECD Network.

Ben Khoswe

Benjamin Khoswe joined

SAFE as Director of Finance and Administration in 2006.

Prior to that, he served in the National Bank of Malawi for 21 years,

in a variety of positions, the last being that of Customer Services Officer.

He obtained his Financial Accounting Diploma from ACCA in 1995.

Ben’s accounting expertise have been such an asset to SAFE.

Ben lives in Malawi and is a widower, raising five children.

Catherine Cheonga

I obtained my Primary Teacher Training Certificate in 1993. I taught in different Government primary schools in Blantyre. In 2003, I resigned from Government and taught at private schools. In January 2003, I was employed at Calvary Christian School as a teacher and in February of the same year was appointed to be the Headmistress of the school. It was the biggest challenge of my life but, since I was already a WHY WAIT? trained teacher and trainer, I managed to see the school growing from a junior school (with only Grades 1-4) to a full primary school (i.e. Grades 1-8), together with a pre-school. In 2006, I joined Blantyre Baptist Christian School as a senior supervisor of the pre-school department, a position I held until 2009.

During my primary teaching career, I was privileged to train teachers and peer educators in World Vision project areas, and lecturers at Montfort Teacher Training College, all in WHY WAIT? life skills.

I was widowed in 2001. I have two teenage children, a boy and a girl.

I joined SAFE in January 2010, as Assistant ECD/OVC Coordinator.

Tiffany Banda

Tiffany Banda has recently joined SAFE as the Project Coordinator. She

has a background in Education with a Bachelor’s degree from University of Malawi and an MPhil from Cambridge University. Her passion for the WHY WAIT and Early Childhood Development (ECD) dates back to the time she was an undergraduate. She undertook a course in ECD in which she was among the top students. She graduated as a WHY WAIT Trainer of Trainers (ToT). As a student, she was involved in the work that SAFE was doing with the Gogo Grandmothers in Makungula Village, which has become one of SAFE’s areas of operation. In

2001, upon joining the teaching profession, she introduced the WHY WAIT programme in the secondary school where she taught.

She has seven years of teaching experience both in Malawi and in the United Kingdom and has taught through preschool, primary and through to Secondary schools. She previously worked with the Malawi Human Rights Commission and was mostly involved in Child rights related work. Throughout her working experience, she has accumulated vast experience in research work, proposal writing and reporting and well as managing projects.

Tiffany is married to Chikosa Banda a Law Lecturer in the University of Malawi and together, they have two lovely children. Her desire is to be able to reach out to families (Parents,grandparents, youth and children) and make a positive impact on their lives through her involvement with SAFE.

US SAFE Africa Board of Directors

2013 SAFE-Africa Board of Directors (left to right)

Prayer Director: Kim Tapfer

Gogo Grandmothers Representative: Suzi Hamilton

Treasurer: Doug Theis

Media Director: Reannah Sartoris

Chairwoman: Rachel Coblentz

Secretary: Becky Grondahl

Malawi SAFE Board of Directors

Hard at work!

Austin Chilembwe

Professor Moira Chimombo

Professor Dick Day

Edward Kaluwa

Margaret Longwe

Dr. Mary Mkandawire

Brown Mwanza

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