Norwegian Church Aid in Malawi
- Presence established: 2001 (Also provided support in 1969-1973, 1976-1982, 1994-1997)
- Funds used in 2015: 54.7 million NOK
Norwegian Church Aid has worked in Malawi since 2001. Between 2011 and 2014, 1,427 students graduated from the nursing colleges supported by Norwegian Church Aid.
Our programmes in Malawi focus on the right to health, gender justice, climate justice and emergency response.
Thembisa Mughogo is 23 years old, and is currently enrolled in the combined nurse and midwife programme at Ekwendeni Nursing School in Malawi.
Norwegian Church Aid aims to strengthen health services in Malawi so that maternal and child mortality decreases. In collaboration with six nursing colleges in Norway, Norwegian Church Aid and our local partner organisation have increased access to health services in Malawi, by educating nurses and increasing both the number of and the retention rate of nurses. By doing so, health units are able to offer quality maternal and neonatal health services to women and children and consequently lower the maternal and child mortality rate.
HIV/AIDS preventive work is another, yet important priority. Malawi has one of the highest numbers of people infected with HIV/AIDS. Although there is a positive trend in the country, 12% of the country is still affected. Norwegian Church Aid’s HIV/AIDS work is specifically aimed at children and young people to prevent infection. In addition, we work with those affected by HIV/AIDS to provide home care services. The challenges faced in working with HIV/AIDS are also linked to our efforts to combat gender-based violence. Women are more prone to infection because of economic imbalance and unfortunate cultural practices.
It is very common for women to be subjected to domestic and gender-based violence in Malawi. These issues are central to Norwegian Church Aid’s work in Malawi, and our approach is to challenge church leaders and communities to address problems and work with systems that can support women who are exposed to violence.
Malawi is an agriculture-based country and has already felt the effects of climate change in form of heavier rainfall and longer dry periods. We aim to support Malawi in becoming better positioned to meet these challenges. For example, we promote the cultivation of agricultural products other than corn, so that agriculture becomes more diverse and robust. With our partners, we build expertise and contribute to disaster prevention.
Malawi suffered devastating floods in the early months of 2015. Norwegian Church Aid rescued people from the flood by boat and installed a water purifying system which produced 4,000 litres of clean water per hour. Together with our local and international partners Norwegian Church Aid also distributed tents, blankets and food to 9,000 people.
Norwegian Church Aid believes it is only the people and the communities themselves that can bring lasting change. We implement our programmes together with Malawian partner organisations and in close contact and coordination with local government structures. This is in line with our overall goal of contributing to sustainable development for Malawi and its people. Our partners have demonstrated a community-centred approach, rich experience and deep knowledge of the local context.
In many countries in Africa, private actors are responsible for much of the health care. Our local partner organisation in Malawi, Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), is responsible for 37% of health care in the country. Most importantly, this organisation also educates about 80% of all health personnel in the country. Norwegian Church Aid has, in collaboration with CHAM's nursing schools and six nursing schools in Norway, worked to double the number of trained nurses in Malawi. We have also worked to improve the quality of education. This programme is now in its second phase, and the results are promising.