Malawi - Africa

Malawi ranks at 153rd on the UN Human Development Index, one of the lowest placed countries in the world. Without access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare, living conditions, especially in rural areas, can be extremely poor. 30% of Malawi’s children do not start primary school. Approximately 11% of Malawians aged between 15 and 49 are infected with HIV/AIDS. Shockingly, over 50,000 Malawians lose their lives every year due to HIV/AIDS. An ambitious programme to tackle HIV/AIDS has recently been launched, but it will take time for it to make a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of Malawians.


Children in Malawi

Over a quarter of Malawian children are involved in child labour. Up to 78,000 children work on tobacco farms, where working hours are often long and in poor conditions. Nicotine poisoning for tobacco farm workers can be very damaging. Whilst young boys typically work in the fields, girls can work selling goods or are forced to engage in commercial sex work.

1 in 5 children in Malawi is malnourished. An under-five mortality rate of 110 per 1,000 is still far too high, despite improvements in recent years. Up to a million children in Malawi are growing up without one or both parents, 650,000 of the total due to HIV/AIDS.

Our work in Malawi

We started our work in Malawi in 1986. It was against the background of high levels of poverty that SOS Children decided to become active. In 1991, an agreement was signed with the government of Malawi and two years later the local SOS Children’s Villages association was officially registered. Our organisation has been running an SOS family strengthening programme as a response to high levels of HIV/AIDS in the country. The programme enables children who are at risk of losing the support and care of their family to grow up within a caring family environment. We are currently helping Malawian children in four different locations by providing day care, education, vocational training and medical assistance. Children whose families can no longer take care of them can find a loving home in one of the SOS families in our Children’s Villages.


We opened our first community in Malawi in 1994 on the outskirts of the capital Lilongwe. There are 12 family homes which are home to 120 children.


Malawi's second SOS Children’s Village opened in Mzuzu in 2002. Situated in northern Malawi on a high plateau surrounded by mountains, Mzuzu is one of the largest towns in an area where there are no facilities or care provisions for destitute and orphaned children. The Village has 15 family houses which are home to 150 children.


Malawi’s newest children's village opened in Blantyre in September 2007. The Children’s Village cares for 150 children in 15 family homes.

Emergency Relief Programmes

In early 2015, we launched an emergency programme supporting families affected by devastating storms that had swept through the country causing immense damage. So far, we’ve helped over 2,500 people with food, shelter and school and hygiene materials.

Local Contact

SOS Children’s Village of Malawi Trust

P.O. Box 2359

Tel: +265/1 75 84 95, +265/1 75 66 67

Fax: +265 175 12 98


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You can help children who have lost their parents. They may have been orphaned by AIDS, natural disaster or conflict. Poverty may have forced their parents to give them up, or they may have been separated from their family by war.