Written by: Sonder Volunteer Sarah Frederickson
Our leadership team is committed to improving lives and positively impacting the communities we work with, and we’d like for you to get to know each of them a bit better.
Beria Michembo joined The Sonder Project in March of 2020 and was the first staff member in Malawi. She was introduced to The Sonder Project while working part-time as a translator for buildOn, our partner organization.
As the Project Manager in Malawi, Beria oversees all administrative tasks, partnerships, and community initiatives in Malawi and is supported by a local Board of Trustees.
Beria (right) instructs community members on building a Tippy Tap handwashing station to promote sanitation.
Her work is not always easy. Just registering The Sonder Project was an arduous process, not to mention the challenge when water is not found during a drill.
She said she is incredibly proud of The Sonder Project’s efforts in the community of Chakondwa. After one failed drilling attempt, the community worried and began to lose hope; we were not the first to promise a well, only to drill and not find water. However, we did not give up. The Sonder Project conducted a new survey of the land and drilled again. This time, we found water.
“Seeing all those happy faces was unforgettable,” she said. “It made me proud.”
Beria earned her bachelor’s degree in Irrigation Engineering at the University of Malawi in 2016. Before joining The Sonder Project, she worked for another non-profit called Days for Girls, which advances menstrual equity, health, dignity, and opportunity for all
Community Members in Chakondwa break out in song and dance after water is finally struck in the village.
When she’s not working, Beria supports her friends on the weekend by assisting as an events decorator for weddings, engagements, and even birthday parties.
She also enjoys hiking, running, and watching movies (her favorite movie is Coming to America).
Music Tip: Beria loves listening to Malawian gospel legend, Dr. Ethel Kamwendo Banda. You can watch her perform HERE.
Reading Tip: Beria recommends Gifted Hands by Ben Carson.
Beria assists community members and our construction team to finish the exterior of one of our schools.
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