Malawi Smiles®

The founder of Hippopot Herbs, Alice Nugent, was born in Mozambique, and raised and educated in Zimbabwe. During the independence war in Mozambique some family members moved to Malawi. So Alice has strong connections with all three countries.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. For many years Alice had been helping her sister, nieces and nephews, and their children. But from 2014 their needs increased, especially as Alice’s sister became frail. From being the main family carer, she came to be in need of care herself, with only a group of grandchildren who had lost their parents to AIDS left to be her carers.

The project started in 2014 with a group of six children. The two youngest of these are still in school and making very good progress. In response to the wider needs, Malawi Smiles is now a charity dedicated to helping a larger group of children, all of whom have lost their parents.

Click here to read about the activities since 2014.


The Malawi Smiles project started in 2014 with a group of six children. Now we are working with a much larger group of girls, who are often disadvantaged when it comes to educational opportunities. In September this year, several ladies from Marlow will spend a week running a workshop for 40 girls building their self-esteem and health awareness. The ladies fund their own travel, but we need funds to buy materials for the workshop. The Feast at the Chief’s Kraal is an African themed party raising funds for this Malawi Smiles workshop. The Feast is in the garden (in the open air). Food will be on the go all day!

(Note: the time on the ticket is just a guideline to help us to cater for you)

at 5 Woodland Close, Marlow, SL7 3LE

Buy your ticket on Eventbrite

Book a time slot to help us plan catering – but we are flexible!

Tickets cost £20 adult | £10 ages 5 – 16 | £50 family (2 adults + their children)

More information: 07818 421913  |

In November 2019 a Quiz Night was held in West Wycombe Village Hall. This was organised by two great Malawi Smiles supporters, Charmaine Gallagher and Althea Summers and raised just over £500.
See what is planned for 2020:

If you are interested in learning more, or in supporting this, please email us at

Malawi Smiles ® is an unincorporated charity registered with HMRC for Gift Aid. You can donate to Malawi Smiles here.
Hippopot supports Malawi Smiles by making this webpage available at no cost to the charity. Donations go to the charity; Hippopot does not take any revenue from your donation.

The Hippopot name and logo is a registered trade mark of Hippopot Herbs Limited and is used by The Hippopot Project by permission.
Malawi Smiles is a registered trade mark.

Visits to Malawi: 2014-2018

Each year since 2014, following fund-raising activities, Alice and some supporters have travelled to Malawi to work with groups of children, most of whom have lost their parents. On this page you can read about the work that has been done on each trip.

In 2019 we did not have enough funds to organise the workshop. We had plans to go in 2020, but these were disrupted by the Covid pandemic. Even in 2021 travel is not possible. We are currently fundraising for the 2022 visit which is planned for August next year.


The 2018 workshop took place from 20th to 24th August at Nchalo, Chikwawa. Sixty girls aged between 10 and 16 attended.
The trainers were Alice Nugent, Jan Campbell, Althea Summers, Amanda Reed, and Sinead Reed.

Click this link to read the report on the various activities over the five days of the workshop.


On 25th February 2015 Alice Nugent and Caroline Sauerback set off from Marlow laden with clothing, bedding, pens and school items donated by well-wishers, together with lots more goods bought with the money raised at the Charity Event and donated by various supporters; all together more than 80 kgs in their suitcases!

Special thanks go to Caroline who paid her own way, and who worked extremely hard in Malawi to improve the conditions of the children’s lives. Caroline is in the middle picture with a group of children.

Click here to read Caroline’s report of the visit.


A former school friend of Alice from Zimbabwe was working as a pastor in Malawi, and took the children under her wing. Bishop Emelda (as she is now known) was at the same time trying to help a much larger group of orphaned children, especially girls who often miss out on the opportunity for education. Working with some local church leaders, Bishop Emelda has established a charity called “Peace Halfway House” with the specific objective of promoting the education and skills of orphaned girls.

Click this link to read the full report.


Alice travelled again to Malawi and was able to secure school places for the children. She just had to trust that she would be able to raise the funds to keep paying the fees and providing for the children’s other needs.

In October 2016 we held the first event to use the title, “Malawi Smiles”, which is now a registered trade mark. This was an evening of African and Caribbean food and music. It raised £921. Various individual donations at the same time raised the total to £1,058.


It all began in 2014 when Alice Nugent, the founder of Hippopot Herbs, learned that her older sister was in ill-health and no longer able to care for her grandchildren, who had lost their parents to AIDS. Alice had previously been sending the family what money she could, but when she visited Malawi she found a very sad situation. The children had no electricity, no money for food or school uniforms and stationery. They were sleeping on the floor and the only food they had was sweet potato leaves and pumpkin seeds with pounded maize. Their grandmother, rather then being their carer, was the one who now needed care.

Get In Touch

01628 472328
5 Woodland Close,
Marlow, SL7 3LE

Registered office: The Tall House, 29a West Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 2LS. Registered in England. Company number 8693539

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