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.
During her time at the orphanage, Maria Vasco would cry for no apparent reason. The toddler was so miserable, some even considered her troublesome.“When visitors came she would cry all day because people would play with the younger children and not bother with Maria,” says Rex Mbewe, the orphanage matron.
Nkhope Primary School is located in the lakeshore district of Mangochi, which is known for its chambo fish and beautiful beaches. Despite the picturesque setting, child advocates say it is important the school is a safe space for children.
As a field coordinator for an agency dedicated to empowering women and children, Phillipina Nkota is passionate about teaching young people how to stand up to violence and abuse.
Every week Nkota and her colleagues, who work for Ujamaa Pamodzi Africa, a non-government organization, visit primary schools in Mangochi.
Masuku Primary School is located near the Chiponde Mozambique border in Mangochi district. The school has a population of 2000 students, who attend the school from nearby villages. One of these students is Amina Banda (not her real name). She lives with her grandmother in Nakapa village along with her two siblings.
Fabio, 3, likes to sing songs in English. He also likes to count. “One! Two! Four! Five! Five!” he says. The little boy learned the language in an institution for orphaned and vulnerable children. But he has been home with his family for five months now and is settling right back in.
Chongoni in Dedza district, central Malawi is known for its Rock Art and cultural history. Here, at the foot of Chongoni mountain is Namoni Katengeza Training Centre. On a sunny October morning, several religious leaders from the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) Nkhoma Synod are gathered at the centre for a child protection workshop.
Collins Gwape, 17, is in Standard 8 at Magomero Primary School in Mangochi, Malawi. When he was younger, Collins was friends with a group of popular boys at school. They would often physically abuse girls and touch them inappropriately.
Rosa Sandra was woken by a loud noise. Then she heard another loud bang and got up to look out the window. There she could see five men breaking down the door to her parent’s house. It was 2016 and the conflict in Mozambique between government troops and the Mozambican National Resistance had broken out again.