Unleashing Potential

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest nations, with 53% of its population living below the poverty line. Totalling 15.6 million inhabitants, this tiny African state is one of the world’s most densely populated countries.It is also a nation stricken by a range of life-threatening illnesses including malaria, AIDS, diarrhoea, nutritional deficiency and acute respiratory infections.

Consequently, life expectancy is amongst the lowest in the world at only 51 years. This is further exaggerated amongst infants with a staggering under-five mortality rate of 175 deaths per 1000.

The key challenges facing the country include healthcare, education and economic growth.

So whats the plan?

We aim to create self-sustaining communities in rural Malawi through innovative regeneration projects related to health, education and water. Specifically, we want to empower locals to work their way out of poverty in one generation.

Water-related projects including:

  1. Three borehole wells in Nkhotakhota district which had pronounced cases of water-borne diseases including cholera and diarrhoea. The wells were located central to four or five villages and each borehole provids clean water for approximately 4,000 villagers
    surrounding the site.
  2. Contributing to a gravity based irrigation scheme in the Mandimwe district which was fully owned and maintained by the local villagers. The site was identified in partnership with the Ministry of Irrigation and took more than four months to build. Water is transported downstream for half a kilometre and increases crop yield three-fold enriching the land with sufficient fertility to grow rice, chillies and fruits
  3. The overflow water from the irrigation scheme was pooled into a fish farm providing a source of meat for the villagers. The Ministry of Irrigation stated that more than 37,000 people benefit directly and indirectly from the agriculture and economy generated from the Mandimwe scheme.

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Health services

Our extensive field survey highlighted significant disparities in health provision epitomised by the use of rusty wheelbarrows as makeshift ambulances for pregnant mothers seeking maternal support. Mortality amongst children under five is a staggering 30% in some areas of rural Malawi with pneumonia, neonatal causes, diarrhoea malaria, HIV/AIDS and malaria accounting for 54% of deaths in Malawi.

1. In response to this need, we set up an outreach clinic in the Mangochi district covering 6 satellite villages with annual targets of 50,000 patients. As well as medical staff, the clinic is supported by a Health Awareness trainer  who educates patients on how to prevent illness and improve personal health.

2. We also supported the establishment of Somba health clinic which includes a much needed maternity wing for prenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care. There are also plans to incorporate voluntary AIDS testing facilities in the near future.

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“ If your plan is for one year, plant rice;
If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees;
If your plan is for 100 years, educate children” [Confucius]

Education projects, including:

  1. Collection and transportation of 20,000 books to Malawi to provide literary resources and materials for schools and libraries. Local authorities also support the book drive with drop-off points at a number of community centres. More information about this years Book drive is available here.
  2. Establishing a school in Malawi which runs dual purpose facilities for primary education with children during the day and adult skills training in the evening.
  3. Built dormitory facilities at a Vocational Training Centre in Blantyre to reach capacity student intake and improve employment opportunities.

Building sustainable futures

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Interested in getting involved?

Unleashing Potential works with local and national partners who are looking for experienced volunteers to support various projects. Find out more and get involved now