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

Child Protection

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.

Food & Agriculture

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 2014.

  • To ensure that all children are safe and protected, we conducted trainings on topics such as child rights, preventing child abuse and harmful cultural practices like child marriage, and the importance of education especially for girls and disabled children.

  • World Vision formed savings groups and trained group members on how to save, budget, and start a small business. These savings groups allow members to secure small loans at a reasonable interest rate, empowering them to plan for the future, start businesses, and meet their children's basic needs.

  • To improve children's reading, writing, and math skills, we trained teachers in literacy curriculum, formed tutoring centers for students, and used the Literacy Boost methodology. Literacy Boost is a proven literacy program that uses assessment, teacher training, and community support to help young children learn to read.

  • Children between the ages of 3 and 5 are attending preschools we created to support their early childhood development and prepare them for primary school.

  • Farmers and their families learned about enhanced agricultural techniques, food preservation, and nutrition education so they could improve their food security.

  • Nutrition programs taught parents to identify malnourishment in children and prepare nutritious meals, such as porridge fortified with healthy ingredients.

  • HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns were held in communities to reduce the spread of this illness. Children, youth, and adults were educated about prevention, testing, and treatment.

  • Together with the Ministry of Health, we conducted a large campaign to provide young children with immunizations, deworming pills, and Vitamin A, which prevents blindness and disease.

  • World Vision partnered with local churches to teach children and their families about responsibility, self-esteem, and the love of Jesus Christ.

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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

    • Please pray for abundant rainfalls in Malawi so families can grow sufficient crops to feed their children.
    • Pray also for children who are taking school exams this year, that they are able to pass on to higher education.