Real lives

Real Lives

Photo essays



Social Cash Transfer; Investing in a better future
July 2017 - Namphungo Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Mulanje has four classrooms, two science laboratories and an administration block. For Malinga Bomani, this school is his hope for a better future. He works hard in school and it pays off.

Beyond money: Empowering social cash transfer beneficiaries
June 2017 - Life is far from easy for half of Malawi’s population. They live below the national poverty line, unable to afford the lowest acceptable standard of living. As many as 3 million or more (22% of the population) are categorized as ultra-poor.

Thinking Big
March 2017 – Signs of poverty are very visible in Daniel Kagwanji’s household. Daniel and his wife sleep in a make-shift, grass-thatched shelter. His children sleep in a small house that he built some years ago.

‘I don’t want to be that girl’: hunger forces parents to marry off young girls
February 2017 - Mangochi a lakeshore district, situated in the eastern part of Malawi, is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots.

Malawi’s social cash transfer helps a family without parents
September 2016 - The signs of poverty are visible everywhere at the home where Patuma and her four siblings live in Chisawa village, Mangochi district. Their one bedroomed house is thatched with grass and already showing signs of giving in.

A social worker sees how social cash transfers change lives for the poorest families
13 December 2016 - Florence Kazembe is a Social Cash Transfer Extension Worker for Namabvi Zone in Mangochi district. Her job is to follow up with the poorest families in her district who receive money from the Social Cash Transfer scheme.

Zainab’s Safety Net
September 2016- Zainab Ali doesn’t remember how old she is, but vaguely recalls being told that she was born around the time Malawi’s first president, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda returned from England, so this would make her about 58 years old.

Saved from the ugly jaws of child marriage
July 2016 - Malawi’s Mangochi District is among the many districts in the country that has ‘exported’ a lot of young men and women to South Africa in search of greener pastures. For the men that come back for a visit, they are considered a ‘jackpot’...

Cash Transfers Change Lives of HIV+ Female Headed Households in Mangochi
December 2015 - Born 37 years ago, Patuma Deula from Chapola Village, Traditional Authority Chimwala in Mangochi, is one of the beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfers Programme also known as Mtukula Pakhomo. Her husband, Mr. Malinga, died in 2000.

Empowering girls to prevent violence
6 July 2015 - “NOOOOO!” Yells a girl in loud and firm voice, her body ready to defend. She looks small, but her spirit is strong. She believes in herself hence her strong defence stance. When she strikes, she uses her hands, her knee, voice and feet...

Malawi floods quiet victims - orphans and vulnerable children
6 March 2015 – In early January, as the sun was rising, the villagers of Matewere and Chabwela in Mulanje district witnessed one of the most horrific events in the history of this small community.

Violence against Children and young women survey launched in Malawi
March 2015 - The Government of Malawi, with support from UNICEF and UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) on 25th March 2015 launched the violence against children and young women survey (VACS) in Malawi.

Spotlight on Girls: Protection and education are key
6 March 2015 - With the passing of the marriage bill on 12 February by the Malawian Parliament, girls can now be hopeful. The marriage, divorce and family relations bill lifts the minimum marriage age (without parental consent) to 18....

Malawian children call upon society to see their abilities
6 June 2013 - ‘Disability is not inability’ chanted 18 year old Mercy Phiri, one of the co-presenters of the Malawi launch of UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2013. Mercy, who is blind, was one of the stars of the show.

Catherine escapes forced marriage
One day in a village in Zomba District, a man arrived to get a young girl as his wife. To this man, the mission was more or less a done deal, having already agreed all terms with the 14 year old girl's grandmother.

Alone and grieving, two young orphans are thrown a lifeline
The brothers are still in shock. Their mother died only a month ago, and now they live alone. The youngest, Chisomo, which means “mercy” in the dominant Chichewa language, is just 11 years old.

Healing deep emotional wounds with play therapy
Soon after both her parents died, eleven-year old Joyce was raped so violently that she could not walk for two years and had to undergo four operations.

How to deal with domestic violence: the 'dilemma' for poor women
When Ellen, who is eight months pregnant, returned home after visiting her mother, she was shocked to find her husband had abandoned her, taking most of their belongings with him.

Getting ready for school and life
At the Chimteka childcare centre in Mchinji, a small town on Malawi's western border with Zambia, a group of young children shriek as they play on slides and swings and kick a ball in the spacious grounds.

Reforming the Child Justice System in Malawi
Perched on a hill overlooking a swathe of trees and bushes, the building looks obscure, its mundane appearance concealing the important work that goes on here every morning. The Blantyre Child Justice Court was established in 2005 ...

A community-based programme reaches out to orphans
For her age, Dinah Chalamila has seen more misery than any 14 year-old should ever have to endure. She lost her mother in 2005, probably due to AIDS but she can’t be sure. Her father remarried soon after.

Malawi pioneers community-based Early Child Development
The nondescript building could pass for any other except on Saturday mornings, when it is transformed into a beehive of activity by children. The children sing “Let Us Be Glad and Dance’, their voices reaching a delightful crescendo ....

Innovative Programme Rehabilitates Child Offenders in Malawi
Bewildered and barely able to speak, sixteen year-old Anne Chinula stood trembling in the dock, accused under Malawi’s penal code of assaulting a police officer and facing seven years in jail ‘with hard labour’.

How One Woman is Bringing Justice to Children in Malawi
For Esmie Tembenu, presiding over a child court is more of a personal crusade than a professional calling. She has thrown her life and energies into ensuring that child victims of abuse get the justice they deserve.

Social cash transfer: Regina Konderwani, head of household at age 16
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Deepani Jinadasa

Social cash transfer: Margaret Bikyele HIV positive single mother
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Gaelle Sevenier

Social cash transfer: Setrida Eliya single grandmother caring for four orphans
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Gaelle Sevenier

Social cash transfer: Tereza Chatsilizika, HIV positive single mother with disabled children
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Gaelle Sevenier

Social cash transfer: Esimy Lenardi single mother of 10 children
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Gaelle Sevenier

Social cash transfer: Blackson Kalinde, grandparents responsible of four orphaned grandchildren
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Deepani Jinadasa

Social Cash Transfer: Rita Nelson, disabled single mother with five children.
Lilongwe, December 2007 - Gaelle Sevenier

Orphans and vulnerable children: story of a respected brother
Lilongwe, 17 October 2007 – Gaelle Sevenier

Head of family at 13
Lilongwe, 22 November 2007 - Gaelle Sevenier





Child Poverty in Malawi

This is the first time in Malawi that child poverty has been measured beyond that of income poverty emphasizing that poverty is not only about money. The report, highlights child poverty based on deprivations of basic needs such as education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, shelter and information as opposed to income poverty alone. View the report >>


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