Malawi in South-East Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world, currently hosts many thousands of refugees and asylum seekers originating mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and recently Mozambique. Some of these are the children and grandchildren of people who fled conflicts as far back as the 1970s, living in refugee camps in other countries before moving to Malawi in search of better opportunities. Dzaleka Refugee Camp is the biggest refugee camp in Malawi. It is located in Dowa District near Malawi’s capital city Lilongwe and hosts around 44,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
Whilst Lilongwe is host to a long term refugee community, the city itself is populated by many low-income individuals with 76% of its inhabitants live in informal settlements meaning their housing is often low quality and insecure. This situation has implications on a whole range of other areas of the community.
We work in partnership with There is Hope, is a Malawi NGO that exists to provide access to education and income generating activities to refugees and their host community as well as to strengthen their spiritual well-being.
There is Hope values education as a transformational tool that sharpens minds and a movable capital that can be utilised wherever people end up in life. We provide scholarship funding for secondary and university studies for young people with potential which would otherwise be choked by lack of finances. Our work is designed to benefit both refugees and local residents from surrounding villages as a large portion of these populations will struggle to access education.
A sustainable income can transform families by providing necessary goods and services, increasing a sense of dignity and by allowing parents to be positive role models to the next generation. In Malawi, more than half the population lives on less than one US dollar a day. Limited capital often means that businesses or ambitions never take off. There is Hope supports business development by providing small scale loans and opportunities to be involved in our social businesses.
“For the vast majority of uprooted people, there are few things as powerful as their faith in helping them cope with fear, loss, separation and destitution. Faith is also central to hope and resilience.” Antonio Guterres, (Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Current UN Secretary General). There is Hope supports spiritual development through running a Bible School, offering seminars and conferences for pastors and church leaders,and by facilitating events for children and the youth.