A Brief History
Of Mamie Martin

The MAMIE MARTIN FUND was founded in 1993 by Margaret and John Sinclair in memory of Margaret’s mother, Mamie, who worked to empower women and girls through education in 1920s Malawi.

While in Malawi with her husband Jack, a Church of Scotland missionary, she became aware of the need for girls and women to have access to education and she used her experience as a teacher to set up classes, with great success. Jack and Mamie are still remembered today in northern Malawi and their story is vividly told in Salt and Light, the book by Margaret based on their letters and diaries.

Margaret was born in Malawi in 1927, but Mamie died in 1928, giving birth to her second child. A visit to Malawi in 1991 by Margaret and John lit the spark for this charity, which was set up in 1993 after discussion with Malawian friends. In partnership with the Synod of Livingstonia, Mamie Martin has supported more than 1, 500 girls through their secondary education in Malawi. These girls are now passing on this benefit to the next generation and to Malawian society, a lasting legacy in memory of a remarkable woman.

Now more than 20 years old, the Mamie Martin Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees in Scotland, who are responsible for the governance and strategy of the charity, as well as ensuring that it is administered effectively. The charity is supported by two part-time administrators – one in Scotland and one in Malawi – and also relies on the help of a number of volunteers.

Meet the team


The Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia has existed for almost 140 years, since the first Scottish Missionaries arrived in Malawi in 1875. In its ministry, it does not only reach out to communities with spiritual care but is also involved in development projects for education, health care, HIV&AIDS, water & sanitation, food security, civic education, etc.

Maxwell M. Banda, former Education Secretary for the Synod of Livingstonia, was involved in the formation of the Mamie Martin Fund and played an important part in forming the official partnership between the charity and the Synod in 2007.

The Mamie Martin Fund supports girls’ at four of the secondary schools run by the Synod in the Northern Region of Malawi, and funds are distributed to the schools by the Synod’s Education Office. The head teachers of the schools, along with representatives from the Education Office, make up the local Mamie Martin committee in Malawi, meeting once each school term to discuss matters relating to the charities activities and officially reporting back to the Mamie Martin Fund in Scotland.