When Ireen started at Children of the Nations, she was behind in school. But thanks to her determination and the support of her sponsors, she
excelled in secondary school and graduated from African Bible College with a degree in mass communications. She then started working for
Children of the Nations as Communications and Events Officer.
But when she went out on her own after graduating, she experienced housing conditions that left her without electricity, clean water, or indoor
plumbing. Most people in Malawi live in homes with mud walls and thatched roofs. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the demand for safe
and affordable housing in Malawi. This leaves people like Ireen with dangerous living conditions.
Instead of trying to be content with her situation, she decided to do something about it. With the help of generous sponsors and with advanced
business training at African Bible Institute, she started her own affordable-housing construction company, Tsindwi Housing Company, and is the CEO!
Female CEOs are still rare—out of the top 3,000 companies in the US, only 167 are led by women—and they are especially rare in a male-dominated
industry like construction.
This means Ireen’s job is often difficult. Many of the men who work for her don’t like having a woman tell them what to do. But she doesn’t let this
discourage her: “It is very challenging, but I love challenges, so I was happy to take up the role.”
Ireen says she didn’t have a proper home until she came to Children of the Nations. With Tsindwi Housing Company, she wants to help give people
With her education and desire to give back to her community, Ireen is in a unique position to make a difference.
Many women in Malawi don’t get this opportunity. They are expected to get married early and take care of their husbands and children. Nearly half
of girls in Malawi get married before the age of 18. Many others face poverty, teenage pregnancy, or illness.
Ireen is planning to get married later this year, but she gets to do it on her own terms, and not because it is her only option. She doesn’t have to
give up on her dreams and passions just to take care of others once again.
Ireen graduated from college and business school and became a CEO!
So many events in Ireen’s life could have stopped her from becoming the person she was meant to be: the hunger and poverty she experienced
daily, the 2001 famine, the expectations for women in Malawi, the deaths of her father and brother, and later on the death of her mother.
But instead, Ireen’s passion, drive, and faith in God is transforming her nation.
by Kelly Flannery