Stories from change-makers in Malawi

Tionge Florida Phoebe
Youth Leader Malawi Tionge
Tionge is not your average 20-something — she’s also a girls’ rights activist.
Her focus? Fighting child marriage.

Malawi has one of the world’s highest rates of child marriage. When young girls are married, they often have to drop out of school, and are left with little choice over their future.

Tionge knows child marriage needs to end immediately.

“Adolescence is the time that people begin to realize their identity,” Tionge explains. “Why not let girls find their identity? Why are we allowing girls to take care of people while they are still trying to figure out who and what they are?”

Together with other Plan International activists, Tionge has been campaigning the government to end child marriage once and for all by changing the constitution. It’s not a small ask, but Tionge is confident that change will come.

“The government is supportive, and they are happy that young people are engaging in the issue,” she said. “That’s why we think we can achieve some real impact. We are the leaders of, not tomorrow, but today!”
Learn more about Plan youth advocates
Florida After Disaster In Malawi
When Cyclone Idai hit Malawi in 2019, it destroyed everything in its path, including Florida’s family home.
In the middle of the night, her house collapsed. Florida woke up to find her bedroom wall on top of her, pinning her legs down. Luckily, she wasn’t seriously injured. But her life was still turned upside down.

She lost most of her school supplies, and her parents couldn’t afford to replace them. Florida loves school — she was top of her class and hopes to become a nurse someday. This natural disaster was not part of her education plan.

Many schools in Malawi were either destroyed in the storm or turned into shelters, leaving thousands of children out of the classroom. And interruptions to education are especially dangerous for adolescent girls like Florida, because they’re more at-risk for never returning.

That’s why when disasters like this strike vulnerable communities, Plan not only responds to immediate needs, but also makes sure girls’ futures stay on track.
Donate to help Plan’s disaster response
Sponsored Child In Malawi
Periods are never easy, but COVID-19 has made managing them even harder for many girls and women.
Where Phoebe lives in Malawi, she doesn’t have easy access to clean water. And because of the pandemic, there’s now a shortage of soap. So even though she uses reusable pads to save money, washing them is really difficult.

“Soap has become scarce in shops in our community,” explained Phoebe. “This has affected me because I need soap to wash my pads during my period.”

When girls struggle to manage their periods, they often have to stay home from school. A few days out of the classroom every month really adds up, and they often fall behind.

As part of Plan International’s COVID-19 response, hygiene kits were distributed to thousands of girls and women in Malawi — including Phoebe. These kits include soap and menstrual products
Learn more about our COVID-19 response

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Malawi since 1994.

Our work in Malawi

Sponsored Child In Malawi
Office & operations

Plan Malawi’s country office is in Lilongwe, with program unit offices in Karonga, Mulanje and Mzimba.

Technical areas

Education, Protection, Health, WASH, Disaster preparedness and management

Number of sponsored children

As of June 2022, people like you sponsor 20,787 children in Malawi through Plan International.

Our projects in Malawi

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

Little Treasures icon

Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor