BANJA UMODZI was founded in 2005 by two siblings who learned of a remarkable woman using her own home to care for all the orphans in her village. In need of space, but without the resources to move, Banja partnered with the woman and acquired a building for the purpose of supporting the village orphans. Eventually, Banja teamed up with Road to Relief, a local non-profit, to develop the space for continued use by local orphanages.
Orphan care remained Banja’s mission for close to a decade until 2015 when Malawi was hit by devastating floods that ravaged a significant part of the country. Over 200,000 people were displaced, many lost their lives and tens of thousand were left homeless. Banja began crowd sourcing funds to provide emergency relief, focusing on Matanya village between Phalombe and Mulange in southern Malawi. Eventually, Banja expanded its efforts to include the village of Manola as well. In the process, they were able to deliver 7,740 kg of maize (ufa), 812 kg of beans, 330 blankets and a variety of other supplies to over a thousand people.