Gratitude. Inspiration. Adventures. Smiles. Exploration. Passion. Purpose.
These are the words that come to mind as I prepare for my upcoming Habitat for Humanity trip to Malawi in October! I’ve always wanted to volunteer in Central Africa, and after my original plans to visit Zambia in June fell through, I’m excited and very grateful to be included in this upcoming Malawi Habitat trip to build homes for orphans and vulnerable children.
My first two experiences with Habitat for Humanity in Honduras and El Salvador have been exciting, rewarding and life supporting. They inspired me to fulfill some lifelong dreams and goals to give back. I’m certain that Malawi will give me the opportunity to experience new adventures, reflect on my personal journey and meet incredible, like-minded people.
Here are some of the most interesting and unique things about Malawi and this trip:
- Over 80% of Malawians live in rural areas
- 75% of the entire Malawi population lives on less than $2 per day
- There is widespread poverty
- The GDP per capita (PPP) is only $900 and is ranked 221 out of 228 countries in the entire world
- Habitat for Humanity in Malawi works with low income households living on less than $120/month
- 4 out of 5 families live in substandard huts built with mud and daub with dirt floors and thatched roofs
- The horrible state of these homes makes families and particularly children vulnerable to many diseases
- This volunteer trip is about building homes for orphans and vulnerable families who have lost one or both parents
- The Habitat homes will include Kiln-fired clay brick construction, glass windows, air vents and iron sheet roofs; foundation is made of large stones, brick or cement
- In January 2015, Malawi was hit with severe storms and flooding which killed 170 people and displaced 200,000 more
- Malawi has a high rural to urban migration – 5.3% per annum according to UN Habitat, State of African Cities Report, 2010.
- Malawi is one of the world’s least urbanized countries, but is experiencing the pressures of one of the highest rates of urban migration.
- Approximately 21,000 new units are needed every year for the next 10 years to meet housing demand – this far exceeds supply
- According to UNICEF (2010), the number of OVC in Malawi has increased from 937,000 in 2001 to 1,400,000 in 2010, representing a 66% growth in less than a decade.
- It is estimated that there were one million people of all ages living with HIV AND AIDS and 650,000 AIDS orphans (UNICEF 2010).
- Since 1986, HFH Malawi has served over 9,500 low income families and Orphans and Vulnerable Groups in both rural and urban areas
- Malawi is a tiny nation rich in culture, immense beauty and history
- Malawi is south of Kenya and Tanzania and east of Zambia
I’m ready for another adventure of a lifetime. The life lessons I’ll take with me include: live with passion and live with purpose. I’m leaving on a jet plane …
We’re continuing to build our momentum in making a positive change and difference in this world. These trips allow GIVEGROWGO to experience extreme poverty first-hand and more importantly, to witness the incredible human spirit that lives and flourishes even in these harsh realities. If you are passionate about philanthropy, travel, children, life purpose, volunteering and off-the-beaten-path experiences, GIVEGROWGO is looking for you!