A good Samaritan in the name of a family friend one day showed up at Chikondi Phiri’s (not her real name) house. The man promised to look after Chikondi and cater for her school needs including tuition and other school necessities.
Early marriage is still a big problem in Malawi. An estimated 46 percent of girls in Malawi get married before they reach the age of 18 years and about nine percent get married before the age of 15.
Soft-spoken Jausa Silika, 38, is someone every ambitious girl child looks up to in Mkata Village, T/A Chowe in Mangochi. Trained as community nursing and midwife, she helps mothers deliver 70 live babies in a month at Malombe Health Centre, located 41 kilometres East of Mangochi Town.
Ibrahim Karim has lived all his life in a small village in Machinga District, Southern Malawi. The farthest he has been from home is about 54 km away from his village, to a town within Machinga. His dream is to travel, see more of his country, more of the world.
In the eastern part of Malawi, about a 100km north of the commercial city of Blantyre lies Machinga district. It borders Mozambique to the east and is home to just over 600,000 people.
Chikondi Children’s Corner is a colourful and vibrant Children’s Corner in Mchinji District. It has a colourful playground, with jungle-jims and swings and a building that doubles as community-based childcare centre during the week. The staff are committed, and the local community is engaged. The volunteers have created homemade educational materials, including posters made from recycled sacks, which cover the walls.
One, two, three, four. She counts the MK2,000 notes from her envelope. She pauses, shakes her head and lifts her chin slightly. She puts the money back in her envelope, grabs her walking stick and starts to leave as her face breaks into a huge smile, relief drawn all over it. This is Steria Tomas, from T/A Mwambo in Zomba district. She is aged 70 and is one of the victims of the March 2019 floods which displaced 86,976 households and killed at least 56 people across 15 affected districts.
I started working as a child protection officer at UNICEF Malawi in February 2019. A massive flood that displaced 87,000 people occurred just after 3 weeks of my arrival. I was deployed to the affected areas in the southern part of Malawi twice after the floods. The first time was immediately after the flood for assessment, and the other for the response from 25th April to 9th May.
Christina Stafford, 17, stands with a group of friends outside a warehouse at Bangula camp in Nsanje. She holds a netball ball in one hand and picks out who will go in which team. She is one of the best netball players in the camp and everyone wants to be in her team.
Praisewell has been living with his uncle since 2016. Before that, he lived at Village of Hope children’s home. His mother died soon after giving birth to him and he lived at the home from the age of six months to seven years, when the organisation began reintegrating children to their extended families.