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Mary’s Meals reaches more than 1,000,000 children every school day in Malawi.

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Where we work

Life in Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 169 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI). A staggering 70% of the population live below the international poverty line ($2.15 USD per day) and 34.9% of children under five have stunted growth.

Malawi has consistently high levels of food insecurity and its people are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As families struggle to find enough food to eat, survival often takes priority over education.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. The country is well known for its spectacular lakes and sprawling highlands. Lake Nyasa, known as ‘Lake Malawi’, makes up more than one-fifth of the country’s total area.

Often referred to as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’, Malawi is renowned for the warmth of its people. 

Woman stirring a large, steaming cauldron of hot food

Mary's Meals in Malawi

Malawi is where our school feeding programme began and where our first meals were served in 2003.  

Malawi is our largest programme – serving more than 1 million children every school day – and is delivered by Mary’s Meals Malawi in 1,001 schools. We also work with a local partner, MCSPA, to implement school feeding in a further 69 schools. The programme is able to reach so many children because of tens of thousands of volunteers from local communities across the country who give their time freely to prepare and serve our nutritious meals.

Mary’s Meals operates in the majority of districts in Malawi and our programme is strongly supported by the Government of Malawi. Most schools receiving Mary’s Meals are in the Southern Region, but large numbers of children are also supported in the Central and Northern regions. We also reach pre-school children who are most vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition.

Malawi is central to the Mary’s Meals story. It was here during a famine in 2002 that Magnus met Edward, a young boy whose mother was dying from AIDS. Magnus asked Edward about his hopes and dreams and his reply – “I want to have enough food to eat and to be able to go to school one day” – inspired our mission and the work we do today. 

Food Changes the Story

Help us reach the next hungry child

When did we start working in Malawi?

Mary’s Meals has been working in Malawi since 2002 and began its school feeding programme here in 2003.

How many children do we serve in Malawi?

Mary’s Meals reaches more than 1,000,000 children every school day in Malawi.

What meal do we provide?

A typical meal is a maize and soya porridge, which is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. This dish is known locally as likuni phala.

Where are we based/where do we operate?

Our Mary’s Meals Malawi office is in the city of Blantyre in Southern Malawi. We are serving children in the Southern, Central and Northern regions of Malawi.

What is the capital of Malawi?

The capital of Malawi is Lilongwe.

What language is spoken in Malawi?

English is the official language of Malawi, but only a small percentage of the population can speak it fluently. Chichewa is the native language for roughly half of Malawi's population.

What currency is used in Malawi?

The Malawian Kwacha (MWK).

What is the population of Malawi?

The population of Malawi is 19,431,566