Lupembe-Mlare'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 Canadians, we’ve started work to improve the well-being of children and families in this community. These are a few of the areas we will focus on this next year

Lupembe-Mlare is home to approximately 28,187 people or about 5,630 families. Many of these families have faced repeated natural disasters, including drought, flooding and earthquakes. Health epidemics including HIV and AIDS, famine and poor access to clean drinking water, have made it challenging for parents to secure other necessities, including such as adequate nutritious food, clothing and shelter.

In the community, child protection issues include abuse, child labour, and early marriage. In fact, rampant poverty, illiteracy and a lack of opportunities has resulted in 17.4 per cent of girls being married before the age of 18. The 240 children registered as disabled and 846 orphans are especially vulnerable to mistreatment, including sexual, psychosocial and physical abuse.
Health Care
To improve the health and nutrition of children in Lupembe-Mlare, World Vision will work with the community to:
  • Improve the provision of primary health care services and build capacity for community health groups
  • Teach mothers about food diversification and preparation to reduce malnutrition in children and pregnant mothers Intensify water, sanitation and hygiene programs in schools and increase community access to safe drinking water
  • Support immunization campaigns and community sensitization on child health and nutrition

Economic Development
To develop sustainable, improved ways of earning income and ensuring food security, World Vision will help to:
  • Implement new irrigation technology, hybrid livestock breeding, seed multiplication and production practices
  • Teach farming households about environmentally-friendly practices, conservation and marketing linkages
  • Encourage the community to prepare for and reduce the impact of disasters, enhance disaster preparedness structures and create a community contingency plan
  • Develop entrepreneurship and job skills for youth and adolescents

To ensure all children have access to a quality education, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Increase age-appropriate literacy and essential life skills through reading camps, spelling competitions, and libraries
  • Train early childhood development caregivers and committees and assist instructors to create appropriate teaching and learning resources using locally available materials
  • Build necessary school additions and ensure disaster risk reduction plans are in place for students and teachers
Child Protection
  • 7 school disaster preparedness plans were developed
  • 30 caregivers have learned about early childhood care, development and basic education
  • 1120 children were enrolled in education services
  • 1620 children are participating in literacy programs
  • 4469  boys and girls took part in faith-based activities, deepening their understanding of God's love for them, others and nature.
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore Lupembe-Mlare

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 Lupembe-Mlare

Health Care
In Lupembe-Mlare, access to adequate health care is an ongoing issue. Currently, there are only two health centres in the community, both of which are understaffed and lack essential services and medicine. In fact, the area only has two qualified doctors and one nurse to support a population of almost 30,000 people. This results into a ratio of one medical officer to 12, 571 people and one nurse to 25,142 people. For some families, a high HIV rate of 12 per cent means children are at risk of losing one or both of their parents, which often forces children out of school to start working instead.

Additionally, malnutrition and poor feeding practices are also key issues affecting children under age five. A lack of awareness prevents parents from practicing good nutritional habits such as breastfeeding. On average, only 44 per cent of families reported having enough dietary diversity, defined as eating balanced meals with between 4 and 6 food groups. In this area alone, 47.5 per cent of children were found to be stunted or too short for their age, while 18.5 per cent were categorized as underweight. Malnutrition makes children more susceptible to illnesses like malaria and pneumonia, while diarrhea is common since clean drinking water, permanent washrooms and hand-washing facilities are a rarity for most families.

Economic Development
Roughly 80 per cent of families in Lupembe-Mlare make their living through agriculture and farming, however many have adopted unsustainable practices to earn an income. Some households rely heavily on cash crops such as rice or cotton, others overfish in Lake Malawi or oversell produce intended for their own consumption.

Many are accustomed to planting the same crop year after year, which not only reduces the diversity of plants and food available but increases the use of chemical fertilizers and ultimately, results in decreasing yields. As a result, roughly 89 per cent of families report experiencing food shortages in certain months of the year. Farmers also have difficulties developing plans to avert or prepare for natural disasters such as drought or earthquakes, which may drastically reduce crop yields and productivity.

In this community, there are several challenges that prevent students from attending, excelling in or finishing primary school. A lack of qualified teachers and key learning resources prevents students from developing age-appropriate reading and writing skills. Most schools average one teacher per every 83 students. As a result of this poor learning environment, many students remain illiterate and some may even leave school altogether.

For girls in particular, deeply-rooted customs may prevent them from ever having the opportunity to pursue their academic goals. In fact, roughly 17.4 per cent of girls in Lupembe-Mlare are married before the age of 18, meaning many don't have the chance to pursue their own dreams or careers. In some homes, Kupimbira"a cultural custom where girls as young as five can be forced into relationships with older men"is still practiced. Other challenges such as a lack of latrines may prevent girls from continuing their education past primary school.​
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Lupembe-Mlare,  is in Phase 1

PHASE 1: Building the foundation

With local leaders, we assess the community's needs and resources, plan projects to provide long term solutions. Sponsorship and development opportunities begin.