Who We Are

Why Malawi?  

Thrive Malawi exists to support the work of Kathy Bowler. Kathy is the founder and Director of the government approved Children of Blessing Trust (COBT).  Founded in 2007, COBT provides services for children with disabilities and other disadvantaged children in Lilongwe Malawi. The Board of Directors is composed of Malawian citizens.  All of the services Thrive Malawi supports are delivered through Children of Blessing Trust.

Learn more about Malawi at http://www.unicef.org/malawi/

Kathy Bowler’s Passion is Working to Help Children with Disabilities

Kathy Bowler, a Canadian physiotherapist and occupational therapist, has been providing services to children with disabilities and their families for 25 years, working in Canada, Mexico, Botswana and Malawi. Kathy started the SOS Children’s Rehabilitation Centre and Medical Clinic in Lilongwe Malawi in 1997.  By 2007, when Kathy successfully transitioned this organization to the Malawians she had trained, the centre was providing therapy to 400 children and services to 30,000 patients are year. The SOS Medical Centre is still operational.

The growth and success of the SOS Medical Centre meant Kathy increasingly found herself focused on administration rather than serving children with disabilities.   In 2007 Kathy left SOS and founded Children of Blessing Trust.  She made this transition to focus her energies exclusively on the significant demand for services to improve the lives of children with disabilities. All of the funds required to operate Children of Blessing Trust is raised from private donors.

Watch a Video of Kathy and her work in Malawi

Watch a Video Of Kathy and her work in Malawi


Thrive Malawi’s Board of Directors and Officers

Stephen Eng is Chair of the Board of Directors and President of Thrive Malawi. He is a professional agrologist and hobby farmer on the Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia, Canada. He is employed by Evergro, CPS Canada as their Specialty Ag Sales Manager. He has known Kathy Bowler for more than 30 years. Stephen and his wife Jacki visited Malawi in 2006 and were inspired to support Kathy’s work.  They visited Malawi again this past October ( 2014).

Pam Robertson is Treasurer for Thrive Malawi. Pam is Kathy Bowler’s sister. She is retired after a 30-year career with BMO Bank of Montreal where she was an Executive Vice-President with strategic leadership and operating responsibilities. Pam visited Malawi and saw the difference Kathy made through her work at SOS Children’s Village. Pam, her husband Pete and daughter Michelle became committed supporters of Kathy’s work and donated the funds to register Thrive Malawi as a Canadian charity.

Vivien Berry is a Director and Vice-President of Thrive Malawi. Vivien worked in finance for more than 30 years and now works on the family farm. She also serves on three other community boards. She has been a friend of Kathy and Steve Bowler for more than 20 years.  Vivien went to Malawi in October 2014 and saw firsthand the work Kathy is doing with and for Malawian families. In particular she gained an understanding of where the funds received through Thrive Malawi are used and how these funds have the power to impact not just the children but the whole family unit which then extends to the greater community.

Rosanne Lyster is a Director and Secretary of Thrive Malawi. Rosanne lives in Comox British Columbia with her husband and family. Rosanne works with children, youth and their families in the Comox Valley. She has a particular interest in supporting children and youth with special needs. Rosanne has known Kathy and Steve Bowler for 25 years and is always excited to hear about the amazing work of the Children of Blessing Trust.

Bert Boyd is a Director of Thrive Malawi and a health care management consultant, with over 40 years experience in managing hospitals and overseeing health system transformation. He and his wife, Laura Reeves, have also participated in international health consulting assignments and are committed to improving health and social services in developing countries. This is reflected in their support for the Children of Blessing Trust and the work being done by Kathy Bowler and her team.

Our financial support is enhancing the lives of hundreds of children

2016:  $44,029

2015:  $70,224

2014:  $40,870

2013: $46,863

2012: $4,201 (partial year of operations)

Funds are provided for the provision of therapy, the delivery of preschool and special education services, the daily feeding program and the nutrition program.

Revenue Canada Charities Directorate

To view Thrive Malawi’s annual financial return please click on the link below and search for Thrive Malawi.