The Leech Clinic’s Chosen Charities

“The Billy Riordan Memorial Trust works to improve the overall health status of the village of Cape Maclear (Chembe Village) through the provision of a medical clinic and health centre. The Trust provides educational opportunities and support. It is the objective of the Trust to provide relief of suffering and depravation in this community.”

Cape Maclear is a village on the shores of beautiful Lake Malawi. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft
Sunset on Lake Malawi. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft
Entrance to the clinic at the Billy Riordan Memorial Trust. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft



Cape Maclear, or Chembe, is a town on Malawi’s Nankumba Peninsula, at the southern end of Lake Malawi. Surrounded by forested mountains, it’s known for the sandy beaches and granite rocks of Lake Malawi National Park. The park shelters rich wildlife, such as antelope and baboons. The clear waters of the lake are populated by hundreds of species of colourful cichlid fish. These are visible at dive sites such as Otter Point. Mrs Mags Riordan is the founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Trust.  The history of Mrs Riordan’s work, and of her late son Billy, can be found here.


As well as providing excellent health care for the population of Cape Maclear the Billy Riordan Memorial Trust also assists in sponsoring able students from Cape Maclear to progress to secondary education. Primary education is free in Malawi, but further education is very expensive.

The Trust has set up a sponsorship facility for those wishing to sponsor a child for further education. Sponsorship of a student may be done by an individual or by a group. The student is selected from the village and contact between student and sponsor can be made at any time either directly or through the Trust.


To date the Trust has sponsored seven students who have completed degree courses at the University of Malawi. At present the Trust has five students studying at secondary school and one student who has completed entrance examinations for a university course which will commence shortly.



In February 2018 I had the opportunity to visit the Billy Riordan Memorial Trust at Cape Maclear. I visited two of my volunteer nursing friends and observed the work taking place at the clinic. Lines of patients waited patiently to be assessed and seen by the doctors and nurses. The treatments offered ranged from first aid to life saving medical interventions.

Following my discussions with Mrs Riordan and observing the wonderful work of the volunteer doctors and nurses, I decided to make The Billy Riordan Memorial Trust one of my chosen charities for the Leech Clinic.  Regular donations will be made by the Leech Clinic to support this worthwhile and excellently-managed charitable trust.

Nurse Croft cradling a three month-old baby at the clinic - photograph taken by kind permission of the baby's Mother.
Some of the beautiful Cape Maclear children who are cared for at the health clinic – photograph taken by kind permission of their mothers. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft
Orphaned children at Cape Maclear, whose parents have in most cases died of AIDS – photograph taken by kind permission of the children’s carers. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft
Three industrious ladies making crafts to sell at the village recycling shop. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft
This shop was founded to recycle discarded plastic and other materials, providing employment to those who would otherwise not have any useful work. PHOTO CREDIT: Bridget Croft