Mngwangwa, located near Lilongwe, Malawi

Mngwangwa community profile

Mngwangwa is 36 kilometres North West of Lilongwe city and approximately 45 kilometres square in size. It is a zone with a collection of 37 villages divided into 4 sectors namely; Mngwangwa proper, Mtema, Nkhwanila and Chiponde 2. The estimated population is 67,000. There is no electricity or running water in the area. Almost everyone lives below the poverty line, far below US $1.00 per day. If the rains are poor, the community falls into crisis.

The nearest paying medical centre is 17 km away and the nearest hospital is 36 km away. There is tremendous difficulty for the people in the community with regards to medical assistance. The nearest access to public transport is 13 kilometres away. During the rainy season, malaria is the most prevalent life threatening disease. Almost everyone has no access to mosquito nets. In addition, there is widespread knowledge of HIV and AIDS but very little practice of prevention.

The community is one that relies heavily on farming of maize and tobacco and other small crops such as vegetables and cassava. While there are 7 schools, this is hardly enough to meet the needs of the children. More than 35% of the children have no parents. Some have no caregivers. The schools are run down and poorly equipped. More than 60% of the children drop out of school before they complete their primary education. They have no choice.

The needs in the community

  • Train and support home based care, HBC, workers
  • Provide simple medicines and food supplement packages for HBC patients
  • Planting community gardens to increase the nutritional level of the children
  • Develop an adult literacy program
  • Begin a widows support group including weekly bible studies
  • Transport critically ill patients to the hospital
  • Help young women and widows develop small businesses to increase economic independence
  • Create a strong and sustainable educational program for early childhood
  • Provide emergency food for children under 8
  • Provide safe and secure homes for widows and child headed households

What we are doing

  • Administering a PLWA (People Living with AIDS) support group
  • Running a home HBC program, ministering to 72 patients twice weekly
  • Providing biblical training to over 200 community members including pastors and village leaders
  • Constructed a Life Centre
  • Provided a deep borehole which provides fresh water to 4000 – 5000 people
  • Providing basic early childhood education for preschoolers with one teacher