About Malawi

Often described as the ‘warm heart of Africa’ because of the friendliness and hospitality of its people, Malawi is a small, densely-populated country in southeastern Africa and one of the poorest in the world. It is

bordered by Tanzania to the

northeast, Zambia to the northwest

and Mozambique to the southwest,

south and southeast. The largest

portion of Lake Malawi, also

known as the Calendar Lake

because it measures

approximately 365 miles

long and 52 miles wide,

belongs to Malawi, with around a quarter belonging to Mozambique.

Facts, figures and further information

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Malawi is currently ranked 169 out of 191 countries in the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Human Development Index,

based on health, education and income.

The UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) Malawi Annual Report

notes that the challenges in 2022 were daunting, ‘with economic and

 climate crises wreaking havoc on the lives of children in Malawi. The

 COVID-19 pandemic, polio outbreaks, and an unprecedented

 cholera epidemic threatened to undo decades of progress. The

risks were real and the consequences were dire.’

The UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) Child

Poverty in Malawi 2018 Report provides an interesting 

insight into the many challenges confronting

children growing up in the country.

A 2011 study entitled Investigating school

quality and learning outcomes among

adolescents in Malawi, prepared by Christine

Kelly for the Population Council, describes the

serious implications arising from the introduction

of free primary education in 1994

without the necessary investment in

infrastructure and resources.

According to UNAIDS, there are approximately

57,000 children under the age of 14 living with

HIV in Malawi and around 470,000 orphans under the age

 of 17 who have lost their parents to AIDS. A number of

interlinked problems that are contributing to the crisis

include a severe national shortage of medical staff,

poverty, gender inequality, food insecurity and malnutrition.

 Access to services continues to be hampered by HIV-related

 stigma and discrimination.

A fascinating study published in 2010 by Professor Craig

McIntosh, Sarah Baird and Berk Özler, entitled In Malawi, money

in girls’ hands boosts school enrolment, is featured on the UNAIDS

website. Small monthly cash stipends paid directly to unmarried adolescent girls and young women aged from 13 to 22 from urban and rural areas in

and around the town of Zomba were found to have had a powerful impact

on their school attendance, reduced drop-out rates considerably and also helped to lower their risk of contracting HIV.

WaterAid estimates that a third of Malawians lack access to clean water, over half the population lack access to a decent toilet and 3,100 children die every year due to poor sanitation. ‘Children get sick and miss school, adults can’t work to support their families, and patients are at risk in health centres. Whole communities miss out on opportunities to improve their lives .’

A view of Lake Malawi from Senga Bay with Cape Maclear in the distance.

Its tropical waters are thought to contain a greater variety of freshwater fish than any other lake in the world, including numerous endemic cichlids.

Charitable status

ChildCare Malawi is unable to register with the Charity Commission because our annual income is less than £5,000. However, we are registered as

a Small Charity with HMRC, which entitles us to claim Gift Aid on eligible donations.


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Picture credits

All images are copyright of

their owners and must not be used for any reason without prior written authorisation.

Row 1 © Derek Winterburn.

Row 2 © jamesdeanphoto.

Row 3 © Margaret Moyo.

Row 4 © Bill Turnbull.

Row 1 of photo gallery

Left © Bruce Webber/Webber Photography.

Right © Robert Styring ARPS.

Row 2 of photo gallery

Left © Lorne Chapman Photography.

Right © Bruce Webber/Webber Photography.

Row 3 of photo gallery

© Bruce Webber/Webber Photography.

Row 4 of photo gallery

Left © Lorne Chapman Photography.

Right © Joyce Maunde.

Row 5 of photo gallery

© Tom McShane.


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