Charities Operating in Malawi
Malawi is a small country in Southern Africa with a population of more than 19 million. According to the World Bank, in 2019, about half of the population lived under the national poverty line. Climate shocks, low education completion rates, a struggling agricultural sector and slow infrastructure reform contribute to the high prevalence of poverty in Malawi. Below are five charities operating in Malawi with unique programs to address poverty in the nation.

5 Charities Operating in Malawi

  1. Aid Africa. This small U.K.-registered charity came about in 2004 to help improve the lives of vulnerable people in Malawi, such as orphans, the elderly, the disabled and those with HIV/AIDS. Aid Africa runs several programs in the areas of water and sanitation, food security, agriculture, education, reforestation and community development. The reforestation program aims to replenish the supply of trees and restore soils so that the natural resource does not run out. In Malawi, rural people rely on wood for constructing buildings and for fuel for cooking and heating water. This has led to deforestation, which has several consequences. For instance, deforestation exacerbates poverty as the soil quality reduces causing crops to fail and making farmlands susceptible to the destruction of flooding. The project trains locals to plant and care for trees while creating tree nurseries. In 2020, Africa Aid began the Moringa Groves Project, growing 100 moringa trees and green vegetables across several villages to resolve malnutrition in communities.
  2. Pump Aid. This local charity, established in 1998, holds a vision to end the water crisis in Malawi by the year 2030 through projects to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in rural communities. Pump Aid hopes to positively impact the education, health and nutrition of communities in this way, thereby helping people to rise out of poverty. The strategy encourages sustainability and self-reliance so that communities do not become aid-dependent. “We’re establishing small-scale businesses, creating prosperity and improved livelihoods for Malawians by training water entrepreneurs,” its website says. These local water entrepreneurs learn the skills to establish, maintain and repair water pumps in communities.
  3. Tiyeni. This is an NGO based in Malawi with a funding arm in the U.K. Tiyeni came about in 2004, and after years of research and trials, began working with 38 smallholder farmers in 2013 across four villages. The organization helps smallholder farmers improve agricultural productivity through affordable and technology-minimal strategies, such as Deep Bed Farming. Farmers have seen their yields multiply up to threefold as a result of incorporating strategies that improve soil quality and sustainability.
  4. Orant Charities Africa. This is an NGO with a 100% Malawian staff base. Orant Charities United States, based in Texas, supports this Malawian charity with free consulting and financial support to reduce fundraising costs. Orant Charities Africa strives to improve the quality of life of vulnerable Africans, putting gender equality at the forefront of these efforts. Its health care program is its longest-standing project. Its efforts to improve access to quality health care services in Malawi include the establishment of the Kasese Health Center in 2014. Orant’s mobile clinic helps the community and the ill by traveling daily to treat patients in remote rural areas.
  5. RiseUp Malawi. Founded in 2013, this organization provides educational programs in order to help vulnerable youth who live in extreme poverty in rural Malawi’s Mangochi District. RiseUp Malawi’s initial program was the “Youth Entrepreneurship After School Program,” aiming to provide free computer training, English classes and life skills lessons. Today, the program has more than 150 young participants. RiseUp also offers a scholarship program to fund the primary and secondary costs of private school education for exceptional children. In 2022, RiseUp positively impacted at least 40,000 individuals.

Looking Ahead

Agriculture, energy, education and health care strongly influence a country’s ability to prosper. These five charities operating in Malawi are making significant impacts on disadvantaged Malawians through their work to improve the quality of life in the nation.

– Naomi Kang
Photo: Flickr

The Progression of Water Sanitation in MalawiWater sanitation in Malawi is improving a great deal, but unfortunately not enough to sustain the growth of the population. In Malawi, it is estimated that 2.4 million people lack safe water and roughly 47 percent of the population must travel 30 minutes or more to obtain clean water. Malawi possesses access to water, though, and is rich in sources such as: large lakes, rivers and aquifers. However, there are critical factors that make these large water sources dangerous to consume.

Water Contaminants

While water may be abundant, the natural resource is not free of dangerous microorganisms or industrial and organic contaminants. For example, Cholera is one of the most dangerous and life-threatening microorganisms found in water sources of Malawi and many other countries.

These water sources are also compromised by fluctuation in rainfall that has decreased over the years. In fact, studies have shown that only about six percent of the population has access to proper water sanitation in Malawi.

Pump Aid

Pump Aid is an organization that works toward changing water sanitation in Malawi, and numerous other African countries, by working with local authorities to install elephant pump technology. Pump Aid was established in 1998, and has since delivered over 4,230 pumps to improve water sanitation in Malawi. Pump Aid has been successful in improving the quality of water all over Africa.

Elephant pumps are made from concrete casting and supply clean water through a rope and washer system. As the pump handle turns, the water is drawn up by plastic washers secured to a rope. The elephant pump then lifts water from up to 50 meters deep and can produce one liter of water every second. These pumps are designed to be easily maintained by the local villages.

Spreading Influence

Pump Aid tested the first elephant pump in Zimbabwe and has since installed many more throughout Africa. Pump Aid manually digs the wells of the water sources, and never uses machinery to install the pumps for sustainability purposes. The manual labor creates jobs while also training villagers how to mechanically maintain the pump. Also, using machinery would dramatically increase the cost of the installation, and the harsh landscape will not always allow access for large machinery.

Pump Aid has had great influence over water sanitation in Malawi, and plans to continue making a difference all over Africa. The organization has found a cost-effective way to improve the water sanitation in Malawi and reduce infant death dramatically. The clean, electrolyte rich water has decreased water borne illness and allowed for food crop growth. Therefore, improving the water sanitation in Malawi has also improved the nutritional status of many children.

In addition to lowering deaths, Pump Aid has also provided jobs via the installation of water pumps. These tools provide economic growth, and Pump Aid plans to continue these improvements into the future.

– Kristen Hibbett
Photo: Flickr