Malawi is a landlocked country in Africa bordered by Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. The territory was part of a British colony named, Nysadland, until independence in 1964. Malawi is considered one of the poorest countries in Africa. The population is estimated at 17M with a high proportion of young people. Over half of the population lives below the poverty line. Despite its many economic and social challenges, the country is known by its nickname, "the warm heart of Africa".
Nearly one million orphans have lost one or both parents to AIDS or early death. Orphaned children are often taken in by their extended family in their local village. However, the children often lack sufficient parental care, lack proper nutrition, have inadequate shelter, limited access to education and healthcare and are at an increased risk of exploitation and abuse.
The solution for orphans has historically been institutional orphanages. These institutions are usually founded and funded by NGO’s and churches in the west. The institutions are very expensive to operate, but tend to be well funded. Key challenges with these institutions are:
Many studies have been conducted over the last 20 years suggesting that orphanages are a poor solution for orphan children. Therefore, the current trend in many African countries is to de-institutionalize orphanages and recommend local solutions that involve the child's extended family and their local village.
Click on About Us to read about Orphan Shade's unique approach to help double orphans with a community-based model.