Speeches Shim

Orphans in Malawi
Orphans require education, social and moral support
Harry Lipper/USAID

Malawi has a young population: 66 percent of its 17 million people are under age 25; 53 percent are 18 and younger*. 16.7 percent of children under 18 are Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). 

Nearly one million OVC have lost one or both parents to AIDS. According to UNICEF, 20 percent of Malawian households are looking after OVC, and many of these households are headed by girls, women, and elderly women.

The majority of families caring for OVC in Malawi lack the means to provide their family members with basic necessities. OVC very often lack parental care and proper nutrition, have inadequate shelter and limited access to education and healthcare, and are at an increased risk of exploitation and abuse.


USAID’s OVC interventions are child-focused and family-centered, prioritizing resources and support for families, parents, and caregivers so that they can provide for their children.  OVC activities address crucial aspects in the lives of OVC: education, including early childhood development; psychosocial support; shelter and care; household economic strengthening; child protection; health; and food and nutrition. Through this multifaceted and integrated approach, USAID not only supports HIV-affected children and adolescents, but it also helps prevent future infections. Moreover, USAID works with the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) to strengthen structures and systems and better coordinate national responses to OVC in line with the National Plan of Action for OVC.

In FY 2015;

  • Assisted the development of Ministry of Gender, Child Development, and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) workers and began implementing a new National Plan of Action on OVC programming (2015-2019).

    Supported the training of 60 MoGCDSW staff in case management as part of the Ministry’s support to other government bodies and civil society organizations.

  • Supported a review of the Malawi Police Service Officers’ training curriculum to include case management. A total of 206 MPS officers were trained as trainers and 1,872 officers were trained using this new curriculum.

  • Trained 4,381 facilitators in children’s corners, early child development and case management strategies, reaching 76,040 children (35,455 male and 40,585 female) with Community-based Childcare Centres (CBCC), Child Care Institutions (CCI), Case Management (CM) and Community Victim Support Unit (CVSU) services.

  • Supported 77 social workers studying a 4-year Bachelor’s degree program with the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College.

    Supported the MoGCDSW to successfully reintegrate 68 children into their communities from child care institutions.

  • Supported 7 quality improvement teams to support 696 vulnerable households to access various support services (village savings and loans, kitchen gardens, small businesses, and livestock production).

Last updated: September 26, 2016

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