In 2003, Sociology Professor Dr. Mike Mtika took a group of Eastern University students to Zowe, his home community located in northern Malawi, Africa. The visit was short but the impact on the students was great.The human despair they observed in this remote agrarian community was overwhelming.
During Spring 2004, these students discussed various ways of helping the people of Zowe to improve their lives and community. Three of the students, after graduation in 2005, raised some funds and went back to live in Zowe to facilitate Christian outreach and development in the community. Two of the three lived in the community from 2005 to 2008 and the other from 2006 to 2007. Their approach, with guidance from Dr. Mtika, was to engage the community members, starting with the leaders, in critical analysis of their situation and identification, planning, and implementation of Christian outreach and community development initiatives. Through this process, seven main initiatives were identified and have been the main focus of the organization’s work.
During 2006, a Malawian was identified to serve as Programs Coordinator. Since then, the organization’s work has contiguously expanded to two other communities. The organization is now operating in three communities with a total population of 4,500 people.
All three Eastern University graduates returned to the United States and one of them, Melissa Nyoni, helped to launch the formation of Pamoza International as a non-profit organization in the U.S. doing business in Malawi. Pamoza International was formally incorporated in August 2011 and is led by a Board of Directors composed of professionals from various fields.