Kindle Orphan Outreach began with a dream in the heart of Andrew and Frances Barr to help meet the growing need to care for the increasing number of children orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Following some years of experience in helping to start another orphan-care ministry, they saw the importance of addressing the needs of the whole person–physically, spiritually, mentally, economically and socially–and to empower both the care-givers and their community to nurture the orphaned children to their full capacity. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the Barr’s were managing a coffee plantation north of Lilongwe. Although their resources were limited, they donated their personal time and money into feeding and clothing hundreds of people in their area, especially during a severe famine time. As God worked in their hearts, and opened doors in the Salima District, they decided to launch a full Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). In the year 2001 Kindle Orphan Outreach was born.
The early work of Kindle took place in the hills of Nanjoka Village and surrounding areas. A project initiator, Mr. Hestern Mbena, was hired to begin to build relationships with the chiefs and people of the area, and to register orphans. It was also important to establish links with the government offices and hospital in Salima. Two years of poor crops and famine conditions in the area brought Kindle the opportunity to prove ourselves, and the God we serve, by showing love and concern through a major food distribution program.
In 2004 Andrew and Frances and their children moved to Nanjoka, and became the first full time Directors of Kindle Orphan Outreach. They continued in this position until the end of 2007, putting all their time and effort into the development of many aspects of the organization. Many “seed projects” were sown, which today have blossomed and are producing fruit. The Barr’s moved to Australia (the home country of Frances) in 2007, where they continue their involvement with Kindle as they share in churches and with other groups about what God is doing in Malawi.
The leadership of Kindle is presently under the oversight of the Board of Directors, with Joseph Kandiyesa as the Director. The managers of the clinic and Nanjoka site, the chaplain, the administrator, the finance officer, and the director comprise the Management Team, which oversees the daily operations.