The team on and off the field that make it happen


The founders


Bob Smedley

Husband and dad, surfer, climber and engineer (you have to work sometimes!).  Originally from South Canterbury, New Zealand.  Well-traveled, seen it all kind of guy...just wants to get on with making a difference in people's lives, genuine, practical, has-a-heart-of-gold bloke (come on, help him help them - donate button top of the page!).  Married to Regina and currently living in Malawi with their two children Diana and Josh.

Regina Smedley

Mum, wife, women in business advocate, chef extraordinaire and definitely seen it all kind of girl...from hunger in Malawi to earthquakes in Christchurch, NZ, Regina's been packing in her once-in-a-lifetime experiences (the type most of us would prefer to avoid), but this warrior woman is determined to make this a lifetime that counts; helping others who just need a hand-up out of poverty..

Josh Smedley, Bob and Regina's son proudly showing off some food grown in the market garden.

Josh Smedley, Bob and Regina's son proudly showing off some food grown in the market garden.

Diane Smedley, Bob and Regina’s Daughter relaxing at the community center

Diane Smedley, Bob and Regina’s Daughter relaxing at the community center



These people are Instrumental for the operation of the charity in New Zealand. They provide support through fund raising, ideas, enthusiasm and a solid dose of the good ole' Kiwi can-do attitude.  


Mark Foote

Husband to Leanne and father to two daughters too, Mark has always been involved in aviation; either as an engineer, a pilot or an instructor. He is an active, adventurous, creative, thinker, dreamer, lover of coffee (possibly addicted…), and can see the lighter side of life. Mark enjoys people and helping them move towards change.

Leanne Foote

Wife to Mark and mother to two daughters and one son-in-law. Leanne is an administrator at a physio clinic, which comes in handy for fixing of those injuries. She loves the outdoors and being active; hence the injuries and is involved in encouraging and ministering to women. Leanne has been a trustee with Mphatikizo for six years and is excited to be a part of something that enables people to help themselves and find hope.

Richard Fitzgerald

Richard wears several hats with one being a Mid Canterbury farmer, another as CEO of not for profit organisations and another as an extension specialist (that is someone who helps farmers operate more sustainably). He brings all these skills together with a passion for helping people and is delighted to be involved in Mphatikizo.

Jarrah and Jen Cooke

We are pleased to be involved in Mphatikizo. Having been fortunate enough to have travelled, we have seen people from different walks of life and we know we are very fortunate in New Zealand. Being involved in the charity is a small way we can give back. We are both occupational therapists with Jarrah working with refugees and migrants and Jen in paediatrics.

Clint Paintin

I see Mphatikizo Co-operative as a good way of providing opportunities for people in Malawi. It is tremendously rewarding personally and something quite different from my normal job as an aircraft engineer. Originally from the North Island, I was fortunate enough to travel and live overseas for many years but like most kiwis, found my way back to NZ and have put down roots in Christchurch.

Trustee Richard Fitzgerald in Malawi


Where are we?


Malawi is located in the south eastern part of Africa. The charity’s location at Intubwi, just outside of Liwonde in the south of Malawi. The country is approximately the size of the South Island of New Zealand.

Malawi was formerly known as Nyasaland and shares borders with Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. The estimated population is approximately 15 million people, of which 75% live below the poverty line (less than a dollar a day).



Past and current volunteers 

These people traveled the world to get to Malawi to invest their time, skills and knowledge to help members of the Intubwi community. If you want to learn more about each group and see their photos of what day to day life is like in Malawi click on each photo.