Children face numerous challenges in Malawi, where poverty and inequality are persistent threats. One of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi has implemented long-range economic reform and strategic plans to transform the nation into a wealthy and self-reliant upper-middle-income country by 2063. But today, roughly 70 percent of Malawians live below the poverty level with families and children in urban areas particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, inequality and economic and climate shocks.
COVID 19–related financial blows have weakened Malawi’s agricultural sector, which employs nearly 80 percent of the population, as well as tourism and demand for the nation’s exports. Extreme weather events of the past few years, incluidng Cyclone Idai and Tropical Storm Ana, have demonstrated the growing vulnerability of public infrastructure to the ever-increasing impact of climate change.
Children in Malawi need UNICEF programs. Over three-quarters of young children under age 5 require treatment for acute respiratory infections and another 65 percent for diarrhea. The country has one of the world’s highest child marriage rates, with approximately 42 percent of girls married before age 18 and 9 percent before they turn 15. COVID-19 – related economic burdens, which have made it more difficult for parents to provide for their children, have only heightened the risk for girls. Once married, girls drop out of school, foreclosing on their chance at a better life for themselves and their children.
Why sponsor a child in Malawi with UNICEF
UNICEF has been on the ground in Malawi since 1964, collaborating with the government and tribal leaders to support all children’s right to survive and thrive:
- UNICEF’s partnership with the Kids in Need of Desks (KIND) Fund provides desks to classrooms so children can learn in comfort and dignity. KIND Fund scholarships for girls remove the economic barriers to high school–age girls’ education
- UNICEF’s COVID-19 response has included real-time surveillance of COVID-19 cases with contact tracing and follow-up and help to establish oxygen plants capable of producing millions of liters per month
- Hundreds of thousands of children receive treatment for severe acute malnutrition, three doses of the Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT) vaccine, Vitamin A supplements, emergency sanitation services and more
- The construction of new solar water systems have improved the care and treatment families and children receive at health centers across the country
- UNICEF psychosocial support programs give children safe opportunities to play and learn
UNICEF cash-grant child sponsorship
UNICEF believes that the best way to sponsor a child is through programs designed to ensure the health, safety and well-being of every child. But when families face multiple threats, UNICEF uses cash grants to give families the means to prioritize the expenditures that will best meet their urgent needs. In Malawi, the UNICEF-supported cash-transfer program awards average family beneficiaries the equivalent of $386.69 to spend how they see fit.
Single mother Besina Phingo and her four children are just one of the hundreds of thousands of families who have benefitted. In Malawi, school fees and the cost of supplies force some families to choose between educating and feeding their children. But thanks to the UNICEF-supported cash grants Phingo receives, she doesn’t have to choose. She can put food on the table and afford to buy schoolbooks and uniforms for her three school-age children. Phingo’s children, 8-year-old Anderson and 13-year-old Chikondi, are free to learn and grow, and her oldest, 16-year-old Christopher, has just graduated.
How to sponsor a child in Malawi with UNICEF
There are several ways to sponsor a child in Malawi with UNICEF. Making an automatic monthly gift is one of the most popular methods. This funding allows UNICEF to respond quickly when an emergency or natural disaster strikes. Monthly contributions also ensure the consistent funding UNICEF needs to deliver long-term sustainable solutions that transform children’s lives.
Monthly donors automatically become members of UNICEF USA’s Guardian Circle, a special group that provides UNICEF with the steady funding UNICEF needs to be there for children whenever and wherever they need help. Guardian Circle members receive a quarterly newsletter with updates on children helped, access to a user-friendly donor portal, an annual giving statement and monthly statements to track cumulative giving.
UNICEF USA’s Leadership Circle offers one-time donors other benefits, including access to exclusive crowdfunding projects, a UNICEF USA annual report and stories about donors’ impact.
Most rewarding of all, of course, is knowing that UNICEF maximizes all donations to help children in Malawi and other countries where families struggle to provide. Less than 3 percent of UNICEF USA’s budget goes toward administrative expenses. UNICEF USA has also been awarded GuideStar’s Gold Seal of Transparency for 2020. Give today with confidence.
Top photo: © UNICEF/UN0384655/Gumulira