Two sisters were so shocked at the poverty they witnessed during a visit to Africa they felt compelled to do something about it.

Alice and Nina Pulford from Brighton set up the Tilinanu Orphanage to help the children in Malawi.

The then 17-year-old Alice, now 24, and older sister Nina will now be running the Brighton Marathon for the charity they built from scratch.

The pair will be making their way around the course alongside 35 friends and supporters of the charity.

Nina Pulford, 31, said: “The training is going great, it’s harder than it looks. The hours you need to put in are crazy before it.

“We have had some injuries and reserves who have jumped into fill the spots.

“We decided to run the marathon as we are all so passionate about what we do and the difference our actions can make.

“It’s a life time achievement to run a marathon but the difference it will make to live in Malawi is life changing.”

The orphanage the sisters built up from the ground today supports 34 children who are housed, educated and fed thanks to the Pulfords’ partnership with the local Mkandawire family.

Nina added: “To see the difference to the lives of the girls at Tilinanu and the surrounding communities is incredible and to see how far we have come as a charity and what can be achieved in such a small amount of time.

“It’s amazing seeing how the actions of our volunteers give people the chance to create their own future, not offering aid but education and skills for people to help themselves and create their own future.”

As well as housing 34 girls, Tilinanu also feeds 175 children every day, has vaccinated 70,000 people, helped build a school offering education for 900 children and has offered medical advice and assistance.

Proud mum Yvonne Pulford, who is also a trustee at the orphanage, said: “I’m so proud of both of them.

“They do all sorts of stuff all over the world to raise money and to do the marathon on top of that is amazing.

“But nothing they do anymore surprises me – they absolutely love a challenge and they’ve managed to rope friends and supporters with them this time as well.”

For more information or to donate, visit

The work the girls are doing in Malawi can be seen at