A long, narrow country, Malawi sits in southeast Africa and is bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. Lake Malawi — the world’s 10th largest lake — covers about 20 percent of eastern Malawi. The beautiful scenery includes the Great Rift Valley, mountains, and plateaus.

  • Population: 15,906,500
  • Life Expectancy: 55 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 84%
  • School Enrollment: 98%
  • Land Mass: 45,746 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 61%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 71/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 320

Facts about Malawi

Gender-based violence is prevalent in Malawi, with up to 41 percent of women reporting having experienced physical and/or sexual violence in 2010 alone. As a result of domestic violence, around 2.5 million children are growing in violent homes and experiencing its effects. Overall, 65 percent of girls experience a form of violence in their lifetime.

Child mortality is a problem in Malawi, with many children not surviving to their fifth birthday. For those who do live to this age, one in two will not develop necessary cognitive skills.

More than a million people are affected by hunger due to prolonged dry spells, rainfall shortages, and flooding.

Malawi flag


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Progress in Malawi

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2013.

  • Educated people about the adverse effects of early marriage, and instituted methods for reporting cases of child abuse.

  • Supplied primary schools with learning materials and teacher training to improve the quality of education for local children.

  • Taught farmers to diversify their crops to provide the variety of foods necessary to reduce malnutrition in children.

  • Helped farmers raise farm animals that provide valuable milk, eggs, and protein, reducing the risk of malnutrition for local families.

  • Provided thousands of children with age-appropriate education on HIV and AIDS prevention, helping decrease incidence rates.

  • Trained local healthcare workers to ensure that mothers and children under the age of 5 slept under insecticide-treated nets to protect them from malaria.

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    World Vision in Malawi Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Malawi to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 29,600 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Malawi. Highlights include:

    • Ensuring that children are living in a safe environment.
    • Reducing the number of children dropping out of school by establishing mother groups aimed at encouraging parents to send children to school.
    • Training more than 250 primary school teachers to improve children’s literacy both in and out of school.
    • Improving the health and nutritional status of children and mothers.

    World Vision History in Malawi

    World Vision work in Malawi dates back to 1975 with support for the Lulwe School for the Blind; the office was opened in 1982. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Improving school facilities in rural areas, building bridges to improve access to schools and hospitals, and assisting Mozambican refugees fleeing from civil war during the 1980s.
    • Working to reduce high child mortality rates and distributing food to those affected by a severe drought in the 1990s.
    • Focusing efforts on nutrition, HIV and AIDS interventions, education, and training in the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    A long, narrow country, Malawi sits in southeast Africa and is bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. Lake Malawi — the world’s 10th largest lake — covers about 20 percent of eastern Malawi. The beautiful scenery includes the Great Rift Valley, mountains, and plateaus.

    About 90 percent of Malawians work in agriculture, producing crops like corn, sugarcane, cotton, and tea. The country’s natural resources include limestone, hydropower, uranium, coal, and bauxite.

    The three prominent ethnic groups in Malawi are the Chewa, the Nyanja, and the Tumbuka. Chichewa is the country’s official language, though English and others are spoken regionally.

    The people of Malawi pride themselves on their friendliness — so much so that Malawi is called the “warm heart of Africa.” Malawians typically live with their extended families in clustered huts. A spirit of cooperation prevails as family members share both work and resources.


    After more than 70 years as the British protectorate of Nyasaland, Malawi gained independence on July 6, 1964.

    One-party rule under president Dr. Hastings Banda lasted for 30 years, but in 1994 the Malawian people voted for a new form of government. That year, the people held their first democratic multiparty elections, voting in a new president.

    A decade later, economist Bingu wa Mutharika took office amid pressure to alleviate the country’s deteriorating economy. Despite the president’s efforts, Malawi’s economy still struggles today.

    Prayer Requests for Malawi

    • For health workers rehabilitating underweight children with special nutritional supplements.
    • For dairy farmers working with their herds to produce more sources of nutrition for children.
    • For sufficient rain so that farmers will be able to harvest enough food to feed their children.
    • That children would receive the protection and care that they need.