Torch’s work in Africa is sited in the Central African country of Malawi, with a centre called “Torch House” on the edge of the city of Blantyre in the Southern Region. There are also about 60 Torch Fellowship Groups throughout the country and key voluntary workers mainly in the valley of the River Shire, in the extreme South, where the incidence of blindness is at its worst, due to the widespread eye disease known as River Blindness (Onchocerciasis).
At the Torch Centre in Blantyre there is a braille production unit, mainly producing Scripture volumes in local languages but also in other African languages. So far the languages involved are Chichewa, Sena, Shona, Bemba, Igala and Hausa. Christian booklets and tracts are also produced, mainly in English and Chichewa, and these include some specifically to help those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
There is also a giant print production facility for partially sighted people. So far this has been producing the Chichewa New Testament in giant print (20 point).
As well as the braille production unit, there is also a free lending library of braille and giant print books.
At the Torch Centre there is a staff of four Malawians headed up by Stanley Moyo, the Administrator. There is a local board of trustees. Financial support comes almost entirely from a fixed sum provided monthly by Torch Trust UK.
The Malawian government together with some NGOs provide some educational facilities for blind children, and also a very limited amount of employment. Generally speaking, blind people are extremely deprived, unable to get employment or resources, and often resort to begging on the streets.
Many are Christians and appreciate the literature Torch provides.