Thoughts from Our Changemakers in Malawi -- Bruce Main

There is nothing glamorous about board development.  It’s not the kind of story that makes people cry, nor is it the kind of appeal that compels people to reach for their check books.  But it is an essential ingredient for creating community-based Christian youth development organizations that become self-sustaining and enduring.

The mission of UrbanPromise International is to help young leaders create organizations that have a transformational impact—year after year, decade after decade—in some of our world’s most under-resourced communities.  Functioning, dynamic boards play a significant role in creating these kinds of institutions.

Saturday UPI hosted the second annual Malawi Affiliate Ministries Board Summit in Lilongwe.  Over 20 leaders, representing our 6 different organizations spent a day sharing best practices, discussing board development, and visioning the future of youth ministry in Malawi.


“It’s been remarkable to watch this movement grow,” shared Hestern Banda.  Hestern has chaired the YouthCare Malawi board for the past 8 years.  “Our boards are really maturing and becoming teams that make a difference.  This is what Malawi needs.”

As our boards continue to mature, our organizations are developing better policies and procedures, wiser governance, transparency, accountability, and a commitment to the mission of these organizations.  There is still a long way to go, but the signs are encouraging.

“I like the vision of UPI,” shared one board member.  “It challenges local leadership to step up and take responsibility.  This will help our communities in the long run.”