Malawi is a small republic in southern Africa (half the size of the UK, 14 million inhabitants). It is among the least developed nations of the world: 164th out of 177 on the UN’s Human Development Index . Over half the population live below the poverty line. Malawi’s precarious situation has been compounded in recent decades by the HIV/AIDS crisis.
By 2009, an estimated 120,000 children were living with HIV and more than half a million children had been orphaned due to AIDS. The most recent figures indicate that 11% of the country’s adult population (aged 15 – 49) lives with HIV. The country’s average life expectancy further indicates the damage done by the disease. Malawi has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, averaging a mere 43 years.
It is necessary, to prevent a total breakdown of society in AIDS-ridden countries, to provide targeted care for the families that have been shattered by the disease. The House of Hope does exactly that – caring for hundreds of children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, feeding them, taking care of their educational needs, and raising their awareness of the disease that killed their parents.
The work of the House of Hope, supported by Wings of Hope, is absolutely essential if Malawi is not to succumb to the enormous, plague-like pressures put upon society by HIV/AIDS.