Meet the Team

Tiwale is a youth-led community-based organization. We are all driven by a strong thirst to realize our vision of an innovative, empowered generation of women.

Karen Takondwa Mchakulu

Programs & Media

After attaining her Bachelor’s degree in business at Monash University in South Africa, Karen decided to return home to Malawi to help build the economy and give back. From her business background, she wanted to join an organization with a sustainable model but also with a core focus on impact and community transformation.

She was “thrilled” when she found Tiwale and instantly became a part of the family. Karen is a bubbly, outgoing, she enjoys spending time with young people because she believes it keeps her “cool”. With an easy-going attitude Karen is known amongst our community as the comical one, constantly sparking unique approaches for our programs. Karen loves social media and is on the road to becoming TikTok famous, so watch out world!

Chmba Ellen Chilemba

Founder & Executive Director

Chmba is an education and communications expert having consulted for bodies such as the United Nations, Global Citizen, and hosted workshops at Duke University, Mount Holyoke College & University of the Pacific.

She is passionate about Africa’s past, present, and future, fighting injustice and leveling human rights for all!

Chmba started Tiwale at 17 years-old to end the vicious cycle of child marriage in Malawi.  For her work, She's been named a Forbes’ Africa 30 Under 30, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeeper, Glamour Magazine’s College Woman of the Year, Ashoka Future Forward Winner, Global Citizen Youth Advocate, One Young World Ambassador, Commonwealth Awardee for Excellence in Development and a University of the Pacific Powell Emerging Leader.

Chmba is also music producer, DJ, and artist, 

Patuma Patricia Chisalika

Programs & Logistics

Patuma is currently studying Public Health at the University of Polytechnic.  She is also a teacher with Montessori, jolly phonics, and is First Aid certified. Patuma finds joy in teaching and interactions with diverse communities, she is at home during Tiwale gatherings. She believes young women in Malawi just need a small push towards their dreams to bring total transformation to their communities.

In her free time, Patuma enjoys swimming and farming. Her father is her farming inspiration, and she hopes to one day have a farm of local chickens. 

Patuma is also dedicated to supporting Malawi’s orphanages, constantly volunteering hours each week.

Madeline Brown

Outreach & Growth Strategist

Madeline lives in Washington, DC and works as a research fellow at a non-profit focused on electoral reform called FairVote. She holds a Bachelors in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Emory University. Committed to social justice, equal opportunity and women's empowerment, Madeline has been inspired by Tiwale's mission and work since meeting Ellen in 2012. She hopes to use her knowledge of non-profit structure and development as well as her creative spirit to help Tiwale grow and evolve. In her spare time, Madeline teaches cycling classes, knits, and listens to many podcasts.

Alice Chilemba


Alice Chilemba was a business person with over 20 years of experience. She ran multiple businesses across Malawi in fashion, food service, transportation, delivery service, wholesale and retail, and farming. At Tiwale, she led our tye dying, sewing and fashion skills workshops.

As a strong woman, she joined Tiwale to see other women becoming stronger and more independent in life.


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