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Where is Malawi?

Malawi is a small country in Southern Africa.

Our impact


Since the coronavirus pandemic, Malawi has faced economic challenges, with high inflation and currency devaluation pushing people further into poverty.

In addition, climate change and adverse weather conditions – including extended periods of drought – continue to be an increasing threat to food production. Malawi has also been hit by multiple cyclones, which have caused devastation to communities and affected hundreds of thousands of people. 

Members of a village planning committee hold a meeting with the local community to explain and discuss their plans for future development | Alex Baker/Tearfund

Our work in Malawi

Tearfund has been operating in Malawi since 2003. The focus of our work is on: building up the abilities of communities to cope with the negative effects of climate change; responding to emergencies; and setting up small scale community savings groups (self-help groups) to aid social and economic transformation. We are also prioritising projects that help ensure that people have access to enough nutritious food all year round, even in times of crisis and disaster. 

Church and Community Transformation

Tearfund and our partners are promoting a process known as Church and Community Transformation (CCT) – working with local churches to empower their communities to escape poverty and become more resilient to disasters. This has led to local churches leading development projects and making progress in the areas of child protection, environmental and economic sustainability, water and sanitation, tackling sexual and gender-based violence, conflict management and advocacy.

Self-help groups

Self-help groups are community-led groups where members commit to saving money together and receive support to set up new business ventures. So far, since the initiative of empowering people using self-help groups began, hundreds of thousands of people have been supported to save money and/or start new businesses.

Supporting farmers

Our local partners in Malawi are promoting a scheme known as Foundations for Farming, which trains farmers and crop growers on how to harvest up to ten times more food on their land, even as temperatures in the region rise due to climate change.

A self-help women’s group called Talimbika, which means ‘working hard’, gathers for prayer and singing in a village in Malawi | Alex Baker/Tearfund

Partnerships and funding

Networks and advocacy groups

Tearfund is a member of CISANET, a civil society network for agencies that seek to influence national agricultural policies on behalf of small-scale farmers.

We are also members of WESNET, a civil society group which helps vulnerable communities to access safe water and sanitation facilities.

Tearfund is part of Malawi Creation Care Network (MCCN),  a movement advocating for environmental protection and regeneration.

Institutional donors

Scottish Government 

The Scottish Government has generously funded a number of Tearfund projects in Malawi in recent years, including: a project with rural communities in Chiptipa protecting girls and boys from harmful cultural practices that deny them a right to an education; a project in Dowa District reducing poverty and extreme hunger by improving agricultural skills and diversifying livelihoods; and an exciting research project investigating whether conservation agriculture techniques, combined with locally produced fertiliser, can protect Malawian farmers from the devastating impacts of the Fall Armyworm.

Jersey Overseas Aid

Jersey Overseas Aid is funding a project aimed at enhancing the wellbeing and resilience of 39,460 vulnerable people living on the fringes of the Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, the Thuma Forest and the Kuti Wildlife Reserve. The programme is promoting improved conservation of the local ecosystems and biodiversity, and helping individuals find sustainable sources of food and income. 

UK Aid

The UK Government’s Department for International Development has funded some of our disaster risk reduction projects and emergency response work in Malawi.  

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