Malnutrition, which remains rampant,
accounts for the death of half of all Malawi children. One in five children in
Malawi live without a biological parent.
90% of children in Malawi (of whom just over 50% get married before they are 18
years old) live in rural communities, traditionally with their extended family
in clusters of round, mud-walled, thatched-roof huts, although tin roofed mud
brick homes are becoming more popular.
Although the government has pressed Malawi families to be limited to two to four
children, most families have six children not least to ensure sufficient hands
to work the land and provide for their parents in old age. And, of course, more
children mean more are likely to survive to be able to do that.
Children's chores in Malawi include fetching water in the
morning and tending to the family's chicken and goats, then,
when its available, after breakfast, they walk to school which
often finishes at 2pm so they can get home without getting too
Then older lads will help look after the larger animals whilst
girls care for their siblings.