How Villages in Partnership Relieves Poverty in Malawi

Villages in Partnership is an organization that has assisted Malawi in its fight against poverty. More than 50% of the population in Malawi lived under the national poverty line in 2019, the World Bank notes. Villages in Partnership has contributed by providing electricity, wells to access clean water and many other basic necessities that the people of Malawi lack.


During the rainy seasons, areas of Malawi easily become flooded, which makes it more difficult for the people of Malawi to travel from one place to another. Bridges allow students to get to school and allow people to access wells for clean water while allowing others to travel to health care centers and access goods and services. Villages of Partnership’s mission is to build more bridges to provide this crucial access to the people of Malawi.

Malawi is known for its lack of electricity. Less than 10% of the population of 18 million is connected to the electrical grid. And, access to electricity stands at just 1% for the 80% of people who live in rural areas.

Electricity is very important to the infrastructure of a country. In 2013, Villages of Partnership provided electricity to the village of Kaupe to power the maize mill. The mill makes flour, which is an important ingredient in the staple dish called nshima. Because of the electricity access, the mill can supply flour in minutes instead of producing it through hours of labor without electricity.

Food Security

Unlike countries like Congo, Malawi does not have rich soil. This forces farmers to depend on successful rainy seasons. However, the climate in Malawi is very unpredictable, and this often leads to food insecurity.

Villages in Partnership has created a solar irrigation technology for the farmers in Malawi. In 2020, the organization added a second site for this technology, which has created a water source for more than 70 farmers and families that are now able to depend on it.

Alongside that, Villages in Partnership also provides improved seed varieties and fertilizers to farmers to increase their crop yields and gives goats and chickens to families in need. The animals provide eggs and meat, which improves the food security of many families in Malawi.

Access to Water

In Malawi, 4 million people lack access to safe water, USAID reports. Along with that, only 6% of the population has the ability to access clean sanitation facilities. Unfortunately, this lack of access to clean water and sanitation can lead to disease and even death.

One of Villages in Partnership’s top priorities is providing accessible and safe water to villages that need it. In Malawi, women and girls are spending their time walking several miles to source clean water. Sometimes, the women source this water from contaminated rivers.

Many villages in Malawi have been hesitant to accept the option of building wells and donating land due to the time-consuming nature of the process. Nevertheless, since 2019, there has been significant progress in efforts to improve water accessibility in the town of Sakata. A total of 23 boreholes and 15 shallow wells have been dug, and many damaged wells have been repaired.

Villages in Partnership takes a proactive approach to addressing water scarcity issues in Malawi. Every year, it organizes the Water Walk, a global event that brings people together to understand the needs of Malawian villages and the significance of clean water. Participants in the Water Walk contribute to various initiatives, including providing solar irrigation, creating employment opportunities, and facilitating access to health care through the Khanda Health Center. The primary focus remains on raising funds to drill wells in Malawian villages.


In 1994, the Malawi government initiated free primary education, providing a valuable opportunity for children to receive education at no cost. However, this move resulted in challenges such as overcrowded classrooms and insufficient supplies, leading to decreased educational quality and poor student performance.

Presently, Malawi faces low literacy rates, with only 65% of the population able to read or write, and limited access to secondary education, with one-third of students attending. For Sakata’s community, the percentage of people who have attended university is as low as one-tenth of 1%, highlighting the education system’s shortcomings.

Nonetheless, education remains a crucial pathway out of poverty. Recognizing this, Villages in Partnership supports 15 community-based childcare centers, acting as preschools to foster the mental, social and physical development of Malawian children.

Additionally, Villages in Partnership has undertaken projects like Chimpeni School, providing education to children who previously had limited access to schools. The organization also undertook the reconstruction of Sakata School after it began to deteriorate in 2016. These efforts aim to improve education opportunities and enhance the prospects of the Malawian community.

Looking Forward

Villages in Partnership is making a significant impact in Malawi by addressing key challenges such as infrastructure, food security, access to water and education. Through building bridges, providing electricity and implementing solar irrigation technology, the organization is enhancing the lives of people in need. By focusing on clean water initiatives and supporting educational opportunities, Villages in Partnership is empowering communities and contributing to the fight against poverty in Malawi.

Abigail DiCarlo
Photo: Pixabay