Country Overview


The beautiful nation of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa. It is known as “the warm heart of Africa,” for its warm, relational people. However, in recent decades the HIV/AIDS plague, which has caused excess mortality among a single parental generation, has given birth to a new nickname: the Orphan Nation.

This epidemic is killing a huge segment of the working adult population. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people in Malawi have the disease. The result is thousands of children orphaned and abandoned or sent to live with extended family or grandparents who are barely able to care for themselves. It’s not uncommon to see orphan-headed households.

The second crisis in Malawi is extreme poverty. Related to this is the fact that more than a quarter of all Malawians are illiterate. In 1994, the Malawian government established free primary education for all children. This increased attendance rates, but academic performance and secondary-school enrollment continue to be low. 

Ninety percent of Malawi’s population live in small villages in rural areas and make their living from subsistence farming. But environmental challenges such as extreme weather changes, ranging from drought to heavy rainfall, cause poor crop yields and widespread famine almost yearly.


Why We Serve in Malawi

  • Children are among the hardest hit from the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Hundreds of thousands have been orphaned by the disease.
  • Because of limited access to medical care, children are suffering from treatable infections including bacterial and protozal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and malaria.
  • About a quarter of Malawians are illiterate. Lack of proper education is holding children hostage in the cycle of poverty.
  • Environmental challenges that range from drought to heavy rainfall and flooding are creating poor crop yields, widespread famine, and malnutrition.


Children of the Nations' Involvment

In 1998, COTN Founder Chris Clark received a phone call from his father and mother who were serving as missionaries in Malawi. "You've got to do something for these orphans," Chris' father told him. "They are in desperate circumstances!"

Soon after, COTN began identifying orphaned children who were in desperate need of care. With the generous support of partners in the US and Malawi, COTN opened a Children's Home and founded three Village Partnerships to meet these children's needs.

Today, COTN's ministry in Malawi has expanded to serve more than 1,000 children. Through your generous support, COTN provides children and families in Malawi with food, education, medical care, Christian discipleship, job training, clean water, a University/Vocational Program for older students, and much more. Malawi also boasts two COTN farms, which grow food to feed the children in our care and to be sold as part of our sustainable development initiatives.


Village Partnerships:

  • Mtsiliza, an impoverished village just down the road from COTN's ministry center near downtown Lilongwe. (est. 2001)
  • Mgwayi, a village located right next to COTN's ministry center. (est. 2007)
  • Chilombo (sometimes spelled Chirombo), a rural village about a 45-minute drive from COTN's ministry center. (est. 2007)

Njewa Ministry Center:

  • International Christian Academy (ICA), a secondary school for children in COTN's care as well as fee-paying community children
  • Salima Village guest housing for Venture participants
  • Dorms for ICA students
  • Clinic for COTN children and students
  • COTN-Malawi administrative offices

Children’s Homes:

  • Chitipi Farm
  • Chichere Farm

Sponsor a child in Malawi today!