Our board members


We are a dedicated board comprising of five non-salaried board members including a president, treasurer and secretary, most of whom are based in the Washington D.C. metro area. However, each has a special connection to Malawi, through a passion to community service and development.

Jean Kalinga, Director and President

Jean is a proud member of Mtogolo Village, and founder of Children’s Hope Malawi. She has worked independently since 2003 to raise funds for her community after witnessing the devastation caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She previously served voluntarily on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Civic Program and Advisory Committee which provides grants to charities based in the Washington D.C. area, and also in developing countries. In her role as coordinator of fundraising activities with the IMF Family Association, Jean helped to raise funds that benefited charitable causes in more than 20 developing countries around the world.

Patricia Meredith Cochran, Director and Treasurer

Trish is a lawyer whose expertise on family law and rights offers invaluable guidance to Children’s Hope Malawi’s core initiatives. She has not only dedicated her profession to protecting the rights of women and children but has a keen interest community service. She has previously served in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Baltimore which offers support and guidance to at risk youths.

Elena Farrar, Director and Secretary

Elena is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and Co-Founder of Masorno Mashinani Foundation in Kenya. She works in Washington D.C. as a contractor for USAID in the Global Health Bureau in the Maternal and Child Health Division. She brings forward years of expertise in policy-making and development initiatives to serve vulnerable communities in developing nations.

David Dunn, Director

David brings forward 2 decades of experiences as an economist and senior manager in that International Monetary Fund. His knowledge and expertise in development in Africa is unparalleled and he maintains a persona appreciation of economic challenges facing African societies today.

Alessandra Figliuoli, Director

Alessandra is a gifted language arts teacher who also enjoys volunteering in her free time to support charitable giving. She has worked for decades to raise money towards various causes in the Washington D.C. Metro area to support community initiatives in developing countries.


On the ground level in Malawi, we have five non-salaried advisory board members drawn from various disciplines of expertise related to Children’s Hope Malawi objectives.

Dr Chisomo Kalinga is a Wellcome-funded literary post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Dr Felix Kakowa is a lecturer at the University of Malawi, Zomba with expertise in Social Policy, Communication and Media.

Dr Denis Khasu is a lecturer at Domasi College. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech; his thesis was titled ‘Storytelling in Emergent Literacy: Supporting Community Based Childcare Centers in Malawi’.

Melissa Mungomo is a project coordinator at UNAIDS in Lilongwe, Malawi. As a citizen of Mtogolo, she is interested in HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives and maternal care programs in rural areas.

Mr Douglas Maosa is a retired government accountant and an esteemed member of the Mtogolo community.