Meet the Staff


Don Smith, Founder

After spending just a few weeks in Malawi after his retirement, Don Smith knew that it was no coincidence that he was there.

He saw the suffering, the malnutrition, and the death of hundreds of orphans in need of medicine, love and attention. And, the complete absence of economic opportunity in every village. He felt utterly called to make a difference.

Don immediately went to work on developing a program he could take to these villages to help them become self-sustainable.

Don created a unique program that is taken into small villages that are typically 20 to 25 miles from a town or city, where unemployment is 90-100%, and people are living on less than $1 a day.

Don has personally been to these countries many times over the years and has witnessed firsthand the terrible conditions and the wonderful work that is being done by the local people with our supporting help. They use the opportunities provided by Village Empowerment to better their own lives, their family’s lives, and the people in their villages.


Linda Limbe, Program Director

Linda Limbe Teaching

Linda was born near Limbe, a small city in Malawi, Africa. Her family has been very prominent in Malawi business, politics and law. Linda’s great grandfather was a freedom fighter and hero in gaining Malawi independence, and there is a monument erected in the village near the city of Limbe honoring his brave service.

Linda is the single mother of a beautiful daughter, Takonda, and lives in Blantyre, Malawi’s centre of finance and commerce. She has two older brothers, and a very large extended family.

Working diligently for many years to complete her education, Linda received a B.A. in Marketing and Business. She worked for a brief time as a model for a leading dairy products company doing promotions and advertisements, and was in charge of the real estate department of a leading law firm. Being fluent in English and several African dialects, Linda was also a translator of both written and spoken languages for several large organizations in Malawi.

Linda started doing volunteer work for Village Empowerment while working at the law firm, where she met Don Smith. With Don’s financial assistance, she started traveling to many of the poor villages throughout Malawi, where she organized women’s service groups, and taught them how to read and write, and how to set-up small businesses to generate income. The groups also care for the sick and elderly, and attend to the overwhelming needs of the hundreds of orphans in the villages.

Linda organizes efforts to get second-hand clothing for the orphans, as well as school books, pencils, plates and cups for their meals, blankets, and even maize for porridge. Village Empowerment then provides the funds to purchase the supplies.

School for Orphans School for Orphans

Word of Linda’s service to the villages spread rapidly, and requests for her help started coming in from villages throughout Malawi and other countries in Africa. With all of the requests coming in, Linda’s work could no longer be fulfilled on a part-time basis, so Don offered her a full-time position with his organization as its Program Director. Linda immediately gave notice to her employer, and today she supervises Village Empowerment’s Outreach Program in 34 villages.

With new requests from villages in Mozambique, Kenya and Zimbabwe, Linda works tirelessly, helping the poor to start a new life, and giving them hope for their future. Without her determination, fortitude and love of her people, Village Empowerment would not be able to do the work it does.