The Malawi Association UK (MAUK) traces its origins to the early 1970s when a few Malawians came to the United Kingdom for further studies. The Association was formed mainly by the Malawian students with a view to maintain a connection.
The Association has evolved considerably during its four decades of existence. On 29 September 1992, MAUK adopted a new constitution and elected an Executive Committee headed by a Chairman to oversee the affairs of the Association in a structured way. MAUK is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (Charity No: 1063801).
During the early period of the Association, there were very few Malawians living or studying in the UK and therefore people were easily acquainted. Members lived in various locations across the UK and they tended to communicate through letter writing and postcards, due to limited meeting opportunities. The Independence Day anniversaries provided an opportunity for members to come together.
During the 1980s and 1990s MAUK established itself as the first point of contact for Malawians living in the UK and those wishing to come to the UK. At the core of the Association’s objectives, remains a responsibility to offer a sense of community network and to provide members with support and guidance on general welfare matters.
The landscape of the Malawian community in the UK began changing in the 1980s due to a significant increase in migration. This trend continued and by the late 1990s Malawians had established small communities in various parts of the UK such as Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Slough, London and Scotland (e.g. Glasgow).
The increasing migration rate of Malawians to the UK resulted in a shift from primarily a student population, to include professionals (e.g. doctors, nurses) and other economic migrants. By the dawn of the new millennium, Malawian vernacular languages were more widely publicly spoken, especially in UK locations with newly established communities.
The subsequent influx of Malawian migrants of the late 1990s and early 2000s, posed new challenges to MAUK with respect to accountability, connectivity, and support for members. Unfortunately with the rapidly changing landscape, the MAUK organisation was unable to adjust its operations and management accordingly to meet the new challenges. This resulted in the Association being dormant between the years 2005 and 2010.
During the period of MAUK’s dormancy, various regional Associations mushroomed throughout the UK to support their respective satellite Malawian communities that had been established. The regional Associations operated independently due to the absence of a central function.
On 1 May 2010 MAUK was revived and a new Executive Committee was elected. The new Executive Committee was tasked to develop an effective centralised sustainable organisation structure that fulfils the core objectives of MAUK; and addresses the requirements of a growing and diverse community of people with an origin or interest in Malawi as well as building partnerships with the regional Malawian Associations across the UK.