Off Presidential Drive
Next to Pacific, Area 14
Lilongwe MW- MW
PhoneA smartphone +265 1 774 233

Quick Facts

  • Families served in 2016: 462
  • When the program started: 1986
  • Families served: More than 10,000
  • Volunteers hosted: More than 2,000
  • Housing solutions: New homes, housing support services

Other facts:

  • 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

Habitat for Humanity Malawi

HFH Malawi 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; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to improve the sanitation status and well-being of slum dwellers and Disaster Risk Reduction and Response to improve access to better and safer shelter for families living in areas prone to disasters.

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. There are about 1.4million orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi out of a population of 17.3million and approximately 21,000 new units are needed every year for the next 10 years to meet housing demand – this far exceeds supply.

Malawi has a high rural to urban migration - 5.3% per annum which is one of the highest in Africa. People are migrating to urban areas to look for economic opportunities. This trend has led to the rapid increase of Slums in the cities. 76% of the population in Lilongwe, the capital city leaves in Slums and with an average of 5 people per household and an average of 6 families per latrine results into quick fill up.

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 rooms according to the family size. HFH Malawi provides Housing Support Services (HSS) to low income people in partnership with housing microfinance institutions.

Ophans and vulnerable groups

The OVG program started in 2009 and to date, HFHM has constructed over 300 houses for the vulnerable families. The project intends to improve the living conditions for 450 OVCs families and reduce their vulnerability by December 2017. 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 orphans and vulnerable children, 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 orphans and vulnerable children 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 5,000 clients have benefited from this program across Malawi.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

The aim of the project is to improve the sanitation status and well-being of 450 slum dwellers in Kauma Slum in Lilongwe through equitable access to better sanitation by December 2017. 156 improved latrines have been constructed from May 2014 when the project began.

Meet a Habitat family

Mumderanji has two children, 8-year old Jeffrey and 11-year old Modestar. She lost her husband in 2011. Besides her two children, Mumderanji is also taking care of her four younger following the death of her mother. She used to live in a small, dilapidated house and could not maintain it as she was often sick and therefore unable earn income which could assist her in renovating the house. The house later collapsed and Mumderanji has been staying in her sister’s house.

Mumderanji explains: “My house collapsed during the rainy season and it was drastic. We were in the house sleeping and then water filled the house because it was raining heavily that night. We woke up and stood in the corner of the house when we heard a loud bang. One of the corners of the house fell, we then run outside and in a few minutes, the whole house collapsed. We lost everything we had. The new house comes at a time we need it most. We thank Habitat from the bottom of our hearts.”

What you can do

You can help Malawian families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:

Donate: Go to and designate your gift to Habitat Malawi.

Volunteer: Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Malawi or lead your own.

Tithe: 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 Malawi

Connor Hanan, Associate Director of Operations
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa

Travel and Build

Volunteer with Habitat abroad through our Global Village program.

Stories and news

The Water of Life

Kauma Village is an informal settlement of over 33,000 people who live on the outskirts of Lillongwe, Malawi's capital. Because of its location, Kauma falls outside the normal services the Malawian government provides in Lilongwe and so many people living there lack basic water and sanitation facilities.

Read More