Our story

"If you believe in something deeply enough, you can make it happen."

Zarina Malecki, founder.

"As-salam-alaykum, (Peace be upon you)

 

“Hi, I am Zarina Katelia Malecki, founder of Fatima Centre and I am delighted to share our story with you. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always dreamed about helping children in need. While my husband and I were living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we used to send money and old clothes to Malawi, which is where I was born and raised. Although I left Malawi when I was 18 years old to pursue my nursing career, I have always remained deeply connected to my roots. Whilst in Jeddah, my friends and I would come up with all sorts of fundraising initiatives to help alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged people around the world. Soon enough the idea of an orphanage was born."

"As-salam-alaykum, (Peace be upon you)

 

“Hi, I am Zarina Katelia Malecki, founder of Fatima Centre and I am delighted to share our story with you. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always dreamed about helping children in need. While my husband and I were living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we used to send money and old clothes to Malawi, which is where I was born and raised. Although I left Malawi when I was 18 years old to pursue my nursing career, I have always remained deeply connected to my roots. Whilst in Jeddah, my friends and I would come up with all sorts of fundraising initiatives to help alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged people around the world. Soon enough the idea of an orphanage was born."

What started out as a mere conversation with friends in Jeddah, ended up capturing the hearts of many like-minded women, who set about bringing this idea to fruition. 

 

Living in Saudi Arabia at the time, Zarina and her friends had to come up with a lucrative business idea that would contribute to building and sustaining the orphanage.

 

Together Zarina and her friend Ann, came up with an Abaya
line they named ZarAn. 100% of the proceeds generated from this eponymous abaya line would go directly towards funding the orphanage. With abayas being a compulsory garment for all women to wear in Saudi Arabia, ZarAn took off with flying colours, quite literally. Check out our Instagram page here.

 

In July 2011, after three years of building, fundraising, and taxing negotiations, Fatima Centre, named after Zarina’s mother - who herself was a charitable lady, was finally open and running as a

fully-fledged orphanage.

 

The spacious orphanage grounds consist of a vegetable garden, a fish farm, a playground, a library block, a maize mill,
a mosque, the orphanage itself, and three water bore holes.
An additional two water bore holes were constructed for the neighbouring villagers.

 

Currently we are home to 25 children - 8 boys and 17 girls. As our centre is running at full capacity, we can no longer accept any more children. However, our outreach programme provides sustenance to babies that have lost their parents, and whose extended family is struggling to make ends meet. These provisions ensure the child’s good health, and that he or she remains in the family.
 

Fatima Centre has also built a medical clinic nearby (with two boreholes), primarily for expectant mothers, which was mostly financed by a good friend and business partner Ann Alhamrani.

 

Fatima Centre also opened a little tea shop along the side of the road for weary travellers.

 

 

 

Fortunately, several supporters are very active in raising funds - among whom are Iman Attar who co-ordinates the sponsorship programme (please see 'get involved' page). She has also taken over the ZarAn abaya business in Jeddah.

Follow on instagram to check out the stylish collection #zaranabayas.

Zarina and her husband, Andy, spend most

of the year living at Fatima Centre with the children. If you would like to visit the orphanage, please get in touch to discuss.

To keep up-to-date with our centre's activities and events, find us on our social channels.

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