Welcome to Malawi
"Hi. We’re Caroline (19) and Joyce (22). We’ve both grown up at the SOS Children’s Village in Lilongwe, Malawi.
I’m Caroline on the left. My home has been at the village in Lilongwe since childhood. I’m now studying communications on a four-year course at a college in Blantyre.
And I’m Joyce on the right. My mother is a teacher at the school here. So my family and I live in the village.
We’re best friends."
Jobs in the country are mainly in the agricultural sector, which employs more than 80% of the population.
During the rainy season, Malawi is prone to flash floods and some rural areas become difficult to reach. In a single day, as much as 15cm of water can fall and once the rains start in earnest, it rains almost every day.
Some local recipes are based on insects – such as patties mashed with lake flies, which are caught in large quantities.
Malinpenga dance, favoured by the Malawians, originated when the local Tonga people watched the military drills of their colonial British rulers. The Tonga donned parts of the British uniform and mimicked the soldiers with exaggerated dance movements and horns to imitate the military brass bands.
When Malawians have finished their working day, some like to relax by playing bao (or bawo). It is played on a board or in hollows scooped out the earth. One game can last for several hours, or even days, which is maybe why it’s often called the ‘African chess’.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has struck Malawi severely. Over 90,000 people in the country live with HIV/AIDS, which means more than one in ten adults are infected.
Three-quarters of Malawians live below the international poverty line, surviving on less than 1.25 dollars per day.