How we got started

Thyolo is one of the most heavily HIV-affected regions of Malawi. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working in the District since the 1990s, providing medical assistance and relief. In 2000, MSF commissioned Claude Ho, a photographer whose work focuses on people and communities in developing countries, to document their work there. While there, he was struck by the lack of social support for people either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS and the isolation they face because of the stigma associated with the disease. Along with two friends, Dr. Leopold Buhendwa and Mr. Steven Labana, who both worked with MSF, Claude Ho founded FOCHTA, which was officially launched in 2003. It was Dr Leopold who chose the name - Friends of Claude Ho in Thyolo Association.

FOCHTA Malawi (Australia) Inc. was established in 2006 to help raise money for and to support the work of FOCHTA Malawi.