Bringing opportunity to children in Malawi

children sit around teacher in a circle

Malawi is prone to extreme weather and natural disasters such as floods, droughts and hailstorms. Much of the economy is agricultural with nearly 60% of the total land used for growing food. This makes many people of Malawi prone to food insecurity due to extreme weather.

But food insecurity is only portion of the challenges the country faces. The population is rapidly growing, straining the infrastructure. Poverty is rampant, with nearly 72% of the people living on less than $2.15 per day. Opportunities for children to receive secondary education and for new mothers to receive pre- and postnatal care are scarce.

Perhaps one of the scariest statistics, however, is the fact that the median age is just under 17 years old. You might think that would indicate unbridled opportunity. In fact, it’s an indication of low life expectancy. Malawi has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in all of Africa.

The country needs change. It needs opportunity. It needs Christ.

Compassion has been exploring the possibility of working in Malawi for many years. In 2020, a new president known for being a Christian introduced a desire for reform. He opened the country to receive more non-governmental international aid.

In 2021, Compassion began creating partnerships with local churches who had the heart for reaching youth and the ability to implement the relevant center-run child development programs.

One of those churches was in the small village of Machinga. The community is characterized by broken families, low literacy levels and a lack of sustainable income, leaving many children in multidimensional poverty. Families lack food, healthcare, education and the means to meet other basic needs.

That has begun to change now that Compassion is partnering with Pastor Clement and his Ferry Assemblies of God Church in Machinga.

Partnering with Compassion International has been a blessing for our church,” Pastor Clement says. “It was heartbreaking to see people in need, especially children, and not be able to meet those needs. However, since partnering with Compassion, things have been changing.

"We do not only focus on the spiritual side of the people but on the physical part as well. We have realized that dealing with poverty is a process. There are steps you must take to address the needs of the people. Compassion has supported us in setting up structures, such as an accountability committee, to ensure the program is run effectively. They have also trained us to safeguard children from abuse and manage program finances and resources,” Clement says.

Everywhere Compassion works we strive to support Frontline Church Partners in their mission to enable children and youth to become thriving followers of Jesus who are positively influencing their world. The goal is to equip the churches in Malawi to work alongside their citizens for positive change so that, one day, Compassion’s intervention will no longer be needed.

Please pray for more people to become Compassion Multipliers so more pastors like Pastor Clement and the Ferry Assemblies of God Church can serve the children of their community. Pray for wisdom and discernment as churches identify how best to help those in need. Pray for a fruitful partnership with Compassion Malawi.