The population of the Malawian Community in the Northwest was growing at a steady rate and there was a need to preserve and advance the nature, character and wellbeing of the community.
The Malawi Seattle Association (MSA) was formed on November 8th, 2009 to play a vital role in building a strong and healthy community with social opportunities for advancement by promoting healthy relationships and strong social network including cultural, economic and wellness.”
The Articles of Incorporation for The Malawi Seattle Association were certified by The Washington (WA) State Nonprofit Corporation on August 14th, 2012, and after some legwork, MSA was determined by the United States Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(C)(3).
Donors can deduct contributions they make to the MSA under IRC Section 170. MSA also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devices, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106 or 2922. MSA was determined by the IRS as a Public Charity under the IRC Section listed above as well.
One of the first known Malawian to come to Washington State was, Legson Kayira, who covered 2,500 miles by foot from Malawi to Sudan where he got onto a plane to come to Skagit Valley College in his quest to seek opportunities for self-improvement in the United States.
Kayira went on to meet his objective of advancing his education, graduating from Skagit and proceeding to obtain post graduate degrees in the US and UK. He, eventually, went on to settle in the UK.
Since then, many Malawians have trekked to this Pacific Northwest and while no one has to walk as he did, the motive remains the same – to seek the American dream while remaining true to ourselves.
Unfortunately, but for a few exceptions, the dream can be very elusive. Very few get to own their own homes while offspring brought or born here end up being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, which they spend the rest of their lives repaying, forcing them to do the same for their children. The American Dream turns into a nightmare and the community grows devoid of happiness and prosperity.
In the end, 50 years after Legson Kayira blazed the trail to Washington, the Malawi Community in the State has not done as well as it should have. The MSA endeavors to breathe new life into the community by providing Malawians in the State with access to resources to meet their full potentials while maintaining their distinct cultural identity. A new and prosperous Malawi Community in the diaspora starts right now, here in Seattle