Malawi, known as “The Warm Heart of Africa,” is a country of more than 80% professing Christians and one of the poorest countries in the world. With 85% of the population living in rural areas, the economy largely survives on subsistence agriculture. More than half of the population lives on less than one U.S. dollar per day. In recent years the local currency’s value has dropped significantly, causing significant hardship for families living in poverty and dealing with floods and droughts. Mothers and children suffer and die from preventable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS. One out of eight children born in Malawi will die before their fifth birthday. The HIV prevalence rate stands at a high rate of 10% and has left more than half a million children as orphans.
Since 1989, World Relief's programs in Malawi have sought to address these issues through an integrated, church-centered community model. Through the ministry of the church, vulnerable children are being cared for, youth are being empowered to prevent the spread of HIV, mothers are learning how to raise healthy children, and farmers are being trained to improve the value of their crops and livestock.