David Livingstone International

(Charity No. SCO 10894)

David Livingstone International (DLI) was founded in Glasgow over 50 years ago. Aiming to reach out to the needy, hungry and homeless in such countries as Malawi, Bangladesh, India, Thailand & Philippines.

Aims of the charity 

  • To offer emergency support for the basic needs of life – such as food, clean water, cooking utensils, blankets, clothing and shelter – in immediate crisis situations such as flooding, famines, fire and other disasters.
  • To help support free medical care and health education.
  • To equip those trapped in a poverty cycle to become self-sufficient through various educational schemes and therefore freeing them from reliance on aid schemes.
  • To support / encourage native co-workers in their work.


How it works

DLI consists of ordinary people who desire to reach out to the hungry, the homeless and the needy. In every DLI-supported project, reliable representatives oversee the work to ensure that shipments are properly received and distributed to the people that need it.

In many countries, DLI owns the property and provides dedicated staff to properly carry out the operation. In other instances, the DLI President and his capable staff work closely with missionaries, physicians, nurses, nutritionists and social workers already in the field. By working with these qualified men and women already serving in a particular area, costs are kept to a minimum and much precious time is saved in getting supplies to the needy.

Fire in the Philippines razed buildings to the ground

Volunteers delivering relief to fire victims

Girls in the Philippines received college degrees

Children’s homes

Thousands of children in DLI homes receive food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education in a lovely Christian atmosphere.

Medical aid

In Bangladesh an estimated 250,000 living below the poverty level in remote jungle areas receive free medical care. In other countries DLI field clinics provide the indigent with free harelip (Operation Smile) and cataract surgeries, give immunisations, hold deforming clinics, and provide free medical check-ups.

'Life Paks'

DLI’s survival package, the ‘Life Pak’, provides nourishing food for malnourished children. Supplemental Feeding Programmes, which provide hot, nourishing meals to severely malnourished children, have proven to be 96% effective in improving health and weight.

Leper Villages

Through the years, DLI has helped 19 leper villages to become self-supporting. DLI continues to reach out to lepers with medical aid when requested.

An artist’s impression of the planned Multi-Purpose Christian Centre (updated!)

This centre in the Philippines will meet many of the needs of this poor community, not only for widows and orphans but very poor and needy families, and a refuge centre for children whose parents have contagious diseases that need to be separated from them for a period of time. It will also serve as a learning centre for small children, an after-school club, and for parents’ training, Bible studies, seminars and awareness programme of various concerns, livelihood projects, and life skills activities to uplift their morale and self-esteem. 

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Progress Update (with image gallery)

We are pleased to announce that by the grace of God, the Multi-Purpose Christian Centre is now in constant use with literacy classes, sewing classes, grow your own food training, vacation bible school, youth fellowships, widows and widowers fellowships, bible studies, youth camps and retreats. We are so thankful for this wonderful resource which is proving to be such a help to the community. If you would like to know more about it, to be updated on the progress, to get involved or to send a donation please get in touch using our contact form.

Who does it help?

Over the years, the needy in more than 30 countries have received millions of pounds’ worth of food, clothing, medicines, education and emergency relief provided by the DLI family of friends.

How does it help?

In additional to meeting emergency needs in times of disaster and famine, DLI’s ongoing projects include caring for homeless children, assisting lepers, providing medical help for the sick and destitute, spiritual training and various self-help projects.

How can I know my money is really helping the needy?

  • DLI fully understands donors’ concern that their money for this ministry be wisely used. As such, DLI never works through government agencies and all funds are transferred by electronic mail to trusted national workers in their own currency, saving exchange rates and delays.
  • DLI produce regular newsletters with photographs so that all sponsors and donors can see just what is being achieved through   their generosity. All printing is done in DLI’s own office, to keep costs to a minimum.
  • Legacies are used entirely for whatever purpose is specified (details of the DLI legacy programme are available on request).
  • All volunteers, from the President to the tea boy/girl, receive no payment for their work either here in the UK or abroad.
  • Whenever possible DLI representatives visit all DLI homes at least once a year to see how donors’ and sponsors’ money is being spent.

Rug Distribution Update….

(Images taken in October 2018)

How supporting the Charity began…

Ethel’s Birthday!

  • With bags of wool coming in on a regular basis from local weavers, rug production began to exceed demand, especially of the black and green rugs, in our first two years of business.


  • To make room for new stock we decided to donate some of our black and green rugs to a suitable Scottish charity.


  • Dr Gilbert Cozens, President of David Livingstone International, was enthusiastic about the rugs and we agreed to deliver some to him on our next trip to Devon (where Gilbert is based).


  • The first lot  of about 20 (valued at £360) were delivered in early 2016 and a second lot (of about 36, valued at £648) were taken to Gilbert in the summer of 2016.
  • On his return from a recent visit to the Philippines, Gilbert’s feedback was: “The rugs have been well received in Bacolod and they are waiting for me to send the next lot which are partly packed in Cornwall.”


  • Although we didn’t deliver any rugs in 2017 as planned, we did deliver another load of rugs (around 25 in total) to Devon on 31st September 2018, which are due to be shipped before the end of the year. They suffer extremely bad typhoons and flooding in the Philippines, the most recent being in mid-September 2018, and people have been really thankful for the woollen rugs, as well as other supplies sent from the UK.


  • Containers are sent by sea whenever they are full enough of supplies given by donors (blankets, clothing, equipment, etc.) to make shipping costs worthwhile.


  • Next, Gilbert plans to visit DLI India in mid-February 2017 for ten days, followed by another visit to DLI Philippines at the end of February.


There is an ongoing sponsorship programme of children in orphanages and schools in the Philippines, India, Thailand and Africa, involving about 2,000 children. These arrive off the streets, through national village workers when children are orphaned – often malnourished and in a life-threatening condition.

Children are cared for and educated until they can be united with their extended family or until they obtain employment. Sponsorship payments are sent to the homes without any deduction for administration purposes.

Sponsors have seen children grow up and become doctors, nurses and teachers. Sponsors are always needed but this should be seen as a long-term commitment (more details are available on request).

Feeding Programme

There is also a regular feeding programme where mothers are shown how to prepare good nutritional food and training is given in basic hygiene. Mothers assist with this and our national workers provide the food as they visit the various villages every week.


David Livingstone International – Charity No. SCO 10894

Honorary President: Dr Gilbert Cozens, 47 Brynsworthy Park, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 3RD