Habitat for Humanity Malawi
Habitat's work in Malawi
Habitat for Humanity Malawi
HFHM is a registered non-profit Christian housing organization affiliated to Habitat for Humanity International. HFH Malawi seeks to provide shelter as one way of eliminating poverty and improving the lives of orphans and other groups of people.
The housing need in Malawi
In Malawi, poverty is prevalent and about 4 out of 5 families in Malawi live in substandard homes with little hope of ever being able to afford a decent house. A typical village hut is built of mud bricks with a dirty floor and glass thatched roof, which requires frequent repair. The conditions put the families at high risk of all kinds of diseases with leaky roofs making the house damp and mud floors attracting insects. The number of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi has increased from 937,000 in 2001 to 1,400,000 in 2010, representing a 66 percent in less than a decade.
Malawi has a high rural to urban migration - 5.3% per annum, according to UN Habitat, State of African Cities Report 2010. This has led to increased demand for decent housing in the urban areas; approximately 21,000 new units are needed every year for the next 10 years to meet housing demand – this far exceeds supply. In the urban areas, many people live in slums characterized by poor water and sanitation facilities, no electricity and poor road network. There are very few institutions dedicated to eliminating poverty housing.
How Habitat addresses the need in Malawi
HFH Malawi provides new homes that are fully subsidized for orphans and other vulnerable groups of people. The houses are two, three or four roomed according to the family size.
HFH Malawi provides Housing Support Services (HSS) to low-income people in partnership with housing microfinance institutions.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Malawi:
- Ophans and vulnerable groups
The OVG program started in 2009 and to date, HFHM has constructed 200 houses for the vulnerable families in six communities. The services include:
Improved housing: HFHM construct two, three or four-room houses for vulnerable families. In addition, each family is provided with a ventilated improved pit-latrine to improve sanitation and hygiene.
Malaria prevention training: HFHM provides three insecticide-treated mosquito nets per family. Families are also trained on good sanitation and hygiene practices to prevent diseases, including malaria.
HIV prevention training: The training is aimed at preventing new infections arising from sexual exploitation, especially of the girls and caregivers.
Vocational skills training: It is provided to older OVC, especially those who dropped out from school. The package includes provision of tools and equipment like carpentry or sewing machines.
Property and inheritance rights training: It aims to protect the OVC from property grabbing. The training is offered to OVC caregivers and gate keepers.
- Housing support services
The HSS project aims to increase resources available to low-income families, making it easier for them to obtain and develop decent housing, through the provision of microfinance loans and construction technical assistance. The project is being implemented in partnership with a Microfinance Institution. The partner offers loans to clients while Habitat Malawi provides technical advice. To date, over 5000 clients have benefited from this program across Malawi.
Meet a Habitat family
Hilda is a single mother who cares for nine children including three orphans who were left by her late sister. Hilda was living in a tiny house with all the nine children. The living situation was causing the entire family to be sick very often because they had no toilet, the house had mud floor and no windows. “We used to be bitten by ants, sleep on wet floor and my children were suffering from cough and diarrhea,” said Hilda. These problems are now things of the past, since Hilda got a new, strong house from Habitat. “Look at my beautiful house! It’s like a dream. All my children are now clean and healthy because they are sleeping in cement floor. I am now planting flowers around the house because it is a special gift to me and I want to give it all the special care it deserves,” added Hilda.
What you can do
You can help Malawian families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Malawi or lead your own. For more information go to: habitat.org/gv
Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 863800, MALAWI on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Malawi or in other parts of the region, please contact us.
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Serge Andriamandimby, Program Development Manager
Main country facts: Gained independence in 1964
Population: 17.3 million
Urbanization: 15.7 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 60 years
Unemployment rate: 15.8 percent
Population living below poverty line: 53 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Malawi
When the program started: 1986
Families served: More than 10,000
Volunteers hosted: More than 2,000
Housing Solutions: New homes, Housing support services