Mpama

The needs in Mpama

Education
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.

HIV & AIDS
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.

Food
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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Mpama's Community News

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.
  • 1 survivor of violence received support to help them cope with the trauma and recover 
  • 5 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being
  • 1 community group is engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children
  • 12 children with disabilities were supported with medical care, accessibility upgrades and equipment
  • 1,234 preschool children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education
  • 402 children and youth are improving their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities like clubs and camps
  • 1 club is in place for children and youth to improve their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities
  • 2,500 children and youth were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication
  • 200 teachers and volunteers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children
  • 4 schools were renovated or furnished with educational materials to provide a better learning environment for students
  • 2,763 parents and caregivers learned how to provide proper nutrition to their children and protect them from diseases
  • 330 malnourished children were enrolled in nutritional programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy
  • 1,573 women were counselled on how to properly care for themselves and their babies during and after pregnancy
  • 1,092 people including children learned to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
  • 2,316 children and women received mosquito nets, protecting them against diseases such as dengue, malaria and Zika
  • 60 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their children and families
  • 150 farmers received livestock, seeds or tools to improve productivity and better provide for their children and families
  • 2,100 people were trained on practices to preserve and manage the environment and its resources

Explore Mpama

current conditions

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

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.