From bags to scholarships

From bags to scholarships

Issued: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:46:00 GMT

The University of Glasgow's retail company is trail blazing with its sale of Fair Trade, sustainable bags and purses made in Malawi.

Rather than absorbing the profits, it is using them to fund female scholarships at the College of Medicine in Malawi.

In September, an order of 300 items including a padded reversible messenger bag, suitable for women and men, a safari bag and a purse, all with university logos, went on sale and after three months, a third of the items had been sold.

The products are made by a Women’s Enterprise and registered charity (2014) called Chanasa - Compassion- based in the poor suburbs of Blantyre, the second city of Malawi.

Its reputation is gathering strength for fulfilling orders, which has included the SOKO Fund, a small Scottish charity that provides female university scholarships in Malawi, the College of Medicine 25th Anniversary products and products for the Ministries of Gender and Transport in Malawi.

Chifundo UK, a sister charity (registered 2015) is agent for Chanasa and is working to promote the sale of products in Scotland as a means of funding female school, university/college scholarships in Malawi, without necessarily incurring any costs for school, universities, colleges and companies, who decide to sell them.

Matthew Williams, the University of Glasgow's Retail Manager, said: "Chanasa products are attractive and well made and we are pleased to be able to practise the philanthropy, for which this university and the city of Glasgow has always been known."

Enquires with email to

Susan Flynn (Chair Chifundo UK)

Image of Chanasa product and the University gift shop