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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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