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.
It is mid-morning in Mangumba village in Zomba, Southern Malawi, and Neverson Nazombe’s day is off to a good start. An hour before, he set up a health clinic under a tree and asked mothers from the surrounding houses to join him with their children, under the age of five. About 20 women came.
Chimwemwe Phiri, 12, loves to read. But because her school doesn’t have a library, she has to walk for two hours to reach the nearest library where she studies and borrows books. Her school doesn’t have enough classrooms either so many of the children take their lessons outside.
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.
Mary Lingisoni, 11, lives with her two older sisters, Agnes and Ellen, father and stepmother in a township on the edge of Lilongwe. It’s a very normal Malawian set up. But Mary’s life has been anything but normal.
The month of August, 2018, gave Zione Giziyele two reasons to celebrate: she gave birth to her second baby, a daughter named Chimwemwe. At the same time, her village received its first ever borehole.
For Manesi Fanuwelo, 33, the thought of losing another child to malnutrition was unbearable. In 2007, Fanuwelo, from Nkhwazi village in Chikwawa, Malawi, lost a son to the condition. The young boy was about to reach his third birthday when he died. And now, her 10-month-old daughter, Laima, was showing the same symptoms that killed her brother.