< Meet the team – Mamie Martin Fund

Meet the team

The Mamie Martin Fund is run by volunteer Trustees in Scotland and Malawi. Our work in Malawi is overseen and managed by our paid Country Director, Mercy Sibande. With the exception of 2020, at least one MMF Trustee from Scotland has visited the schools we support in Malawi each year as part of our governance and development of our relationships there.

Trustees of the Board

Mariot Dallas, Trustee

Mariot retired from teaching in 2015 and is enjoying semi-retired life. With her husband John she has regular grandparent days with their grandsons (and Mamie’s great-great grandsons) which are a great joy. Mariot also does some music teaching in local primary schools, as well as working with several choirs. During her time at Falkirk High School she set up a school partnership with Bandawe Girls’ Secondary School and led two pupil trips to Malawi and one reciprocal visit to Falkirk by BAGSS girls and teachers. She feels a strong bond with Bandawe and the many friends in that community.

Mariot enjoys talking and writing about MMF and about Mamie and Jack, often using the book Salt and Light as a starting point.

Kate Jere, Trustee

Kate has a long connection with Malawi and with the Mamie Martin Fund. Her introduction to Malawi was as a volunteer teacher. Soon after this, she was introduced to MMF and reported on the situation in the then (1990s) five MMF sponsored schools. Later she worked at the Livingstonia Synod, with responsibility of coordinating the MMF sponsorship programme, visiting the schools regularly. In her current position at UEA she still specialises in research and teaching on gender and education, with a focus on girls’ schooling, and has continued professional and family ties in Malawi, returning there regularly.

Alan Laverock, Treasurer and Co-Convenor

Alan is a Chartered Accountant by profession and was a partner in a large Scottish practice for 22 years before semi-retiring. He has been involved with charities working in Malawi since 2008. Previously, he was involved in youth work and outdoor centres.  He is the founder and a trustee of the Bananabox Trust, which supports projects in Northern Malawi as well as organising containers of goods to be sent to Malawi on behalf of other charities.

Alan is co-convener and treasurer. He visits Malawi each year and accompanies Mercy on some schools visits.

Eileen Sinclair, Secretary and Trustee

Eileen joined the Board in 2013 and has been a supporter of the Mamie Martin Fund since its inception in 1993. She is a retired veterinary surgeon and spent more than 30 years working in, and managing, a small animal practice in Ayrshire with her two business partners. She was secretary of Cunninghame South Constituency Labour Party and chairperson of Ayrshire CND for several years, until expansion in their business took up all her spare time.

The Mamie Martin Fund has been a huge presence in their family life, and Eileen feels honoured to play her part in continuing its valuable and essential work in North Malawi – helping impoverished young women into secondary education.

Willie Sinclair, Trustee

Grandson of Jack and Mamie Martin and son of John and Margaret Sinclair, Willie has been a Committee Member/Trustee of the charity since approximately 1995, and Convenor for many years. Willie visited Malawi in 2005 and would like to go back, but his busy life as a Grandad and retiree currently precludes such a journey. Willie uses his musical contacts and enthusiasm for cycling to raise money for the Fund.

Phil Wright, Trustee

Phil has worked in Malawi as a headteacher in Zomba. He and his family lived there for many years. So he brings a solid understanding of education in Malawi to the MMF Board. Phil currently lectures in primary education at the University of Cumbria and is completing his thesis based in critical pedagogy. “I understand the value of supporting girls’ education and the challenges girls face in accessing this in Malawi.”

Angie Wynn, Co-convenor

Angie first met Margaret Sinclair in 1970 when, as social workers, they joined the same team in Stirling. A long standing friendship soon grew up between Angie and the Sinclair family. Having seen the effects of education deprivation in her own mother’s generation, she holds a strong belief in the rights of girls and women to have equal opportunities in education which leads to improved health and education for the next generation and greater prosperity for the whole community.

Angie has worked with children and young people, as a Development Worker for Enable Scotland and has set up and managed a range of care services in Scotland. She has also served on the Fife Committee of Cruse Scotland. It is the experience she has gained in all these roles which she hopes is useful to the Mamie Martin Fund.

Advisors to the Board

Patrick Chinguwo, Advisor to the Board

Patrick is a lecturer in Law at Malawi University of Business and Applied Science, based in Blantyre. He taught in the secondary school sector in Malawi from 2008-2012. He joined the MMF Board in November 2022. Patrick is also a managing partner of Adrian & Company, a law firm in Zomba, Malawi. He is a member of the Malawi Law Society.

Remmie Kamanga, Advisor to the Board

Remmie is the Education Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Mzuzu in north Malawi. Remmie and MMF met when he worked as Education Coordinator with the Diocese of Karonga, one of our partners. He has long teaching experience – 4 years in primary school and 14 years in other secondary schools. Through that experience he appreciated the need to support girls in their education. “I consider this as the best way to liberate them from the abject difficulties they suffer due to a number of factors that leave them victims of circumstances. This is why I am glad to be part of the MMF team.”  He joined the MMF Board in 2021.

Other organisational roles

Mercy Moyo Sibande, Malawi Country Director

Mercy is an educationalist from Mzuzu, Malawi, who obtained her Bachelors from Mzuzu University in 2015. She is the Malawi Country Director of the Mamie Martin Fund; she manages all our work there. She has a passion for work that deals with women and children affairs thus, girl child education and empowerment falls under her desired goals.

She is an honest reliable individual who loves to bring about change and meaning in somebody’s life by making them realise that they can reach as far as their dreams can take them, no matter what background they are coming from.

Moira Dunworth, Administrator and Marketing Lead

Moira is retired from paid work and enjoys cycling and learning to play the fiddle. She learned about the work of Mamie Martin when Margaret and John came back from their first trip to Malawi. She was pleased to be able to help with the process of setting up the Mamie Martin Fund and has been involved in one way or another since then. She visited Malawi on behalf of MMF each year between 2015 and 2019.

Peter Kirwan, Security Awareness Officer

Peter is MMF’s Security Awareness Officer. He advises the Board on ways to strengthen the organisation’s human firewall against cyber threats. He has an MSc in Computer Systems Management with a focus in security training gamification. Originally trained in philosophy and ethics, his interest in moral psychology led to studying unconscious bias at the University of California, Irvine, roles in digital marketing and communication and, finally, supporting and protecting technology users.

Vera Chirwa, Malawi Patron

The Mamie Martin Fund has been honoured to have Vera Chirwa as our Malawian Patron. Born in Nyasaland in the 1930s she was encouraged to go to school by her grandmother and was the only girl out of 72 pupils at Livingstonia primary school. At secondary school in Blantyre she was the only girl alongside 24 boys. She trained as a teacher before marrying Orton Chirwa in 1951. They campaigned for the independence of Malawi (then Nyasaland) and by the time this was achieved in 1964 both Vera and Orton had trained as lawyers.

Vera was Malawi’s first female lawyer. Read more >>>>>