Welcome to The Jacaranda Foundation
The Jacaranda Foundation mission

* We believe that every orphan in Malawi has the right to education, to medical care and to proper nutrition. The Jacaranda Foundation provides quality free primary, secondary and tertiary educations to orphans in Malawi, as well as integrated orphan care, with a spirit of hard work, generosity, compassion and self-reliance.

What we do

We operate the Jacaranda School for Orphans, the only entirely free primary and secondary school in the whole of Malawi. We provide our 400 orphan students with:

- entirely free primary and secondary education
- tertiary education scholarships to our high school graduates
- uniforms and school supplies
- clothes and shoes
- daily nutrition
- medical care
- AIDS education classes
- Arts programs
- agriculture activities
- home support (renovation of students' houses; monthly financial support to the most impoverished children's guardians)
- children's counseling


Our address in the U.S:
Jacaranda Foundation
2578 Broadway
Suite 142
New York NY 10025, USA.
Our founder
* Born and raised in Malawi, Marie Da Silva worked as a nanny in the U.S. for nineteen years. She lost fifteen members of her family to the AIDS pandemic, including her father and two of her brothers. In 2002, after realizing many children were left out of school in her home village of Che Mboma, she founded the Jacaranda School for Orphans within her family house. She turned the bedrooms, the living room, the pantry, even the garage, into classrooms. For nine years, she spent a third of the monthly income she earned working as a nanny on the salaries of the teachers and the few school supplies she could afford. In October 2008, Marie was recognized as a Top Ten CNN Hero for her dedication to orphans in Malawi. Today, Marie shares her time between working at the school in Malawi and fundraising and speaking in schools and universities around the world.
here for more on Marie, in her own words.
You can email Marie at marie@jacarandafoundation.org
Our address in Malawi:
Jacaranda School for Orphans, P.O. Box 5708, Limbe, Malawi.
Marie Da Silva, President & Founder
The Jacaranda School for Orphans is located in Che Mboma village, Newlands, Chigumula, near the city of Limbe, in the South of Malawi. We are on the road to Thyolo, 2 km from Limbe.
Why did Marie call the school Jacaranda?
Read her heartbreaking story.
More on Marie with CNN Heroes videos & story.
Our executive director
* Born and raised in France, Luc Deschamps obtained his Master in journalism from the university of CELSA Paris IV Sorbonne. In 1993/1994, he worked as assitant director of the French Cultural Center in Malawi and fell in love with African music and Arts. He then moved to New York City where he spent 9 years teaching French and working as a journalist, launching notably an African Music TV show called Sounds of Africa TV. In July 2007, Luc decided to come back to Malawi to help develop the Jacaranda School for Orphans. Two weeks after his arrival, he nominated Marie as CNN Hero from a nearby internet cafe. For the past six years, Luc has been directing the development of the Jacaranda school, the construction projects and the academic programs of both primary and secondary sections, as well as educational outreach programs for the surrounding village communities. Luc is also Honorary Consul of France in Malawi and he organizes linguistic and cultural cooperation activities in the country.
To read Luc's blog on culture, education and development in Malawi, please click here.
You can email Luc at luc@jacarandafoundation.org
Luc Deschamps,
Executive Director
Our Boards of Trustees:
The Jacaranda Foundation is registered as a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization in the U.S. and as a Non Governmental Organization in Malawi. We have thus two boards of trustees.

Board members of the Jacaranda Foundation in the U.S

Sally Bernstein (
Secretary of the Board)

Robert Burke

Marie Da Silva

Rachel Darvish

Luc Deschamps

Nicole Devault

John Heilman (
President of the Board)

Harlan Steinberger

Randi Steinberger

Michael Tarnoff

Ileana Wachtel

Board of Trustees of the Jacaranda Foundation in Malawi

Chairperson - Isaac Nsamala
(Former CEO of National Bank of Malawi)

Vice chairperson & Founder: Marie Da Silva

Secretary & Executive Director: Luc Deschamps

Treasurer: Anita Mankhambo
(Investigator at the Malawi Anti Corruption Bureau)

Board Member: Honourable Aaron Sangala
(Member of Parliament)

Board Member: Limangeni Mankhambo
(Medical Doctor)

Board Member: Reed Morrissey