Mpama's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Mpama (pronounced Mm-pah-mah) community is located in one of the most highly populated and poorest districts in Malawi. It is approximately 32 kilometres from Blantyre, the major centre for the region. The community lies in the shadow of Chiradzulu Mountain, with some areas situated in the highlands and hills and others in the dambo, a seasonal wetland.

The area has experienced soil erosion as a result of deforestation and erratic rainfall, which means water is unreliable for personal use and agriculture. This greatly affects the people of Mpama because more than 90% of families make their living off the land. People live in simple grass-thatched homes made from sticks, wood, or bricks. Although there are mixed ethnic groups in the area, the main groups are the Lomwe and Yao. Chichewa is the dominant language.
  • 1021  men and women accessed financial services like saving and borrowing, helping them work toward financial stability and provide for their children.
  • 637 farmers were provided with agricultural inputs to improve their farms
  • 152  farmers learned new ways to store crops, control pests and manage seeds, helping them increase their food production and income to support their family.
  • 637 field, farm or school demonstration plots were established

*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore Mpama

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Mpama

Although primary education is free and most children do start school, there are few schools and a shortage of teachers in the area. School buildings are dilapidated and lack resources, such as learning and teaching materials and desks. Classrooms are overcrowded, with only one teacher for every 105 students. As a result, many students drop out of school, fewer than half of all girls finish their education, and the illiteracy rate is high.

The prevalence rate of HIV in Mpama is 16%, which is higher than the national average. More than a third of all households are now headed by people older than 50, who shoulder responsibility for children orphaned by AIDS. The impact of HIV and AIDS contributes to Mpama having the highest percentage of female-headed households in the area.

Mpama experiences severe climate conditions, with both drought and heavy rainfalls coming each year. Coupled with a dependence on maize as the sole crop and ineffective agricultural practices, this has resulted in food shortages. For years, community members have tried a variety of strategies to feed their families, including borrowing money or food, and selling livestock and seeds. In many instances, people feel they have no alternative but to engage in life-threatening occupations, such as sex work, to earn money to buy food.

Water and Sanitation
With no source for piped water, broken boreholes, and an unpredictable climate, more than half the families in Mpama use unreliable water sources. Only 37% of households have year-round access to sufficient, safe water from a protected source within 30 minutes from the family home. Other health issues arise from a lack of pit latrines. This lack of proper sanitation puts children at risk of contracting easily preventable diseases and infections.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Mpama, Malawi is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.