What We Do

Agness and Mebel – Secondary Scholars

Rare Charity was born from Rare Tea Company, an independent business based on direct trade, purchasing quality loose leaf tea at a price set by the farmers.

Founder Henrietta Lovell saw the possibility to invest further – by donating a percentage of revenue directly back into those tea communities.

We currently work in tea communities in Malawi and are piloting work in Nepal.

Our tertiary educational scholarship programme enables individuals to become qualified professionals. Over half these scholarships will always be set aside for young women.

In 2020, we invested in girls at an earlier stage.  After schools re-opened from closure due to COVID-19, we noticed that many girls had not returned.  Reports agreed on a steep rise in child marriages. We invested in secondary scholarships to enable girls to choose education, to complete their secondary schooling and to fulfil their ambitions.

We know our programmes are working.  Our focus is tight and direct. By working specifically in tea communities, we can see a concentrated positive impact as more of our scholars graduate and invest their skills as medics, teachers and business leaders.

Why Malawi and why now?

Malawi has one of the world’s lowest enrolment rates for tertiary education. Over 70% of its population lives below the International Poverty Line, on less than $2.15 per day. The majority of people live in rural areas, and so remain most vulnerable to food insecurity, low wages, insufficient medical care and poor sanitation. We cannot change this situation, but we can equip the next generation of Malawians to change it.

Funding education where opportunities are rare but talent is not

“I would love to see this community grow and develop. I desire to ensure that its people are not always dependent on others, but ready to develop their area for themselves. This community needs more educated people with that innovative spirit – who can lead on development.”

Wongani, Rare Graduate


Rare People

Management Team

Tom oversees all operations and programming.  He leads on strategy, fundraising and growth.

Andrew leads delivery of our work in Malawi, managing and developing local operations and scholar support.

Esnarth supports our operations in Malawi.  Her role focuses on outreach programmes, scholar communication and due diligence.

Rare Charity grew out of Rare Tea Company

Rare Tea Company sources some of the world’s most delicious tea – by trading directly with independent farms, to support fair and sustainable production. In 2016 founder Henrietta decided to invest further in tea communities. She asked workers how. They answered unanimously: education for our children.

Our running costs are largely met by Rare Tea Company, but we now seek urgent funds to expand our scholarship programme, and meet urgently growing needs.

Rare People

Board Members