Comprehensive scholarships for bright, hard-working children from vulnerable backgrounds to break the poverty cycle. 


From subsistence living to mortar boards and beyond.

  • Primary education is free but fees become a barrier at secondary and beyond

  • FACT: Almost all children start primary school, but only 14% complete secondary *

  • This vicious circle is a poverty trap not just for individuals but whole communities!

*Source: World Bank Working Paper No. 182, The Education System in Malawi, 2010

With your investment, we fund school fees and education materials for the brightest yet neediest children through the lifetime of their secondary education.

  • We cover fees to some of best schools in the country plus necessary transport, board, learning materials, food and more. Whatever it takes.

  • Our targeted approach supports specific high potential individuals who would otherwise drop out and not complete their education. 

  • Our processes are governed with a high level of accountability and transparency. 

  • Our management team is completely voluntary and to date have personally funded all administrative costs, so 100% of the donations we receive reach students!


For the price of a coffee and muffin once a week, you can give a Bright Spark an education.

  • Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world. FACT: 63% of Malawians live on less than $2 a day*

  • The HIV epidemic has ravaged communities leaving millions of children orphaned, impoverished and vulnerable

  • However, thanks to government willingness, well-run schools and relative stability, the ability to impact is high!

* Source: World Bank Working Paper No. 182, The Education System in Malawi, 2010
  • The opportunity to complete education allows high achievers to reach their full potential 

  • Education has a long term impact with significant spillover to families and communities 

  • Education brings the potential to positively impact broader society in the longer term, with Bright Sparks graduates working as teachers, doctors, business leaders and policy makers

  • Bright Sparks Trust is a Charitable Trust registered in the UK

  • Our founder, Alastair Child, has over 14 years of experience running sustainable development projects across Africa in agriculture, community development, education and more

  • Our model works! Since 2004, 32 students completed the programme from start to finish of their secondary education.

  • Our local Malawi team comprises Bright Sparks graduates

  • Our vision is to develop an approach for effective education support to combat poverty where it is needed most

  • Our rigorous selection process enables us to find the truly needy with standout academic potential. 

We currently are supporting 73 students, who typically come from subsistence backgrounds, and many of them have lost one or both parents. The majority grew up in mud built huts with grass roofs, living below the poverty line. At the same time, they all have exceptional academic potential as demonstrated in their Public School Leaving Certificate Examinations at the end of primary school, with many coming first in their school zone and the majority coming in the top 10.

  • We conduct multi-stage verification of student need and ongoing attainment

  • We drip-feed financial support to students with checks to ensure that this investment reaches the beneficiaries 


Since first scholarship was provided in 2004, we have supported 110 children, of which:

  • 73 children are currently being supported in school 

  • 32 children have completed secondary school

  • We stopped supporting 5 students before they finished their secondary education:

    • 2 left school for health reasons

    • 1 scholarship was terminated due to behavior

    • 2 students started receiving financial support from other organisations.

  • Our graduates already include a Doctor with international acclaim and a professional at one of the world’s leading accountancy firms

  • We ask that donors consider this as a commitment to assist a child or children through the full 4 years of their secondary education

  • £15 per calendar month is all this takes

  • Lump sum investments also welcomed

  • Bright Sparks Trust is Gift Aid registered so UK tax payers can increase the power of their donations

HMRC Charities Reference Number: EW40119