Malawi is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is also one of the world’s poorest countries. The population is rapidly increasing and is expected to reach 23 million by 2025.
Up to 74% of the population live below the international poverty line of 1.25$ a day. Maternal mortality rates are amongst the highest in the world and about 10 women unnecessarily die each day through childbirth. About 3 million people have no access to clean drinking water and about 11% of the population are HIV+, and 1,000,000 children are orphaned.
Since 1995 Open Arms has been providing love, shelter food and medical care to orphaned and abandoned children in Malawi.
And that is why Open Arms exists.
As a response to the rising number of maternal deaths and the subsequent rise in orphaned babies, Davona Church and Margaret East, two ladies living in Malawi, opened the doors of Open Arms’ first Infant Home in 1995 caring for 27 newborn orphaned babies. In 2000 Neville and Rosemarie Bevis, who had spent many years living in Malawi, returned to take over the running of Open Arms Infant Home. It was then that Open Arms Malawi was registered as a charity in the UK.
17 years of Open Arms
In the past 17 years the home has expanded to house nearly 120 children from as young as 12 hours old in our homes in Blantyre and Mangochi. In addition over 300 vulnerable children receive basic nursery education and a nutritious daily meal in our outlying feeding stations.
3 stages of care
Open Arms Infant Homes operate in 3 stages of care;
Infant Care, where we look after babies from new born to 2 years old;
Harrogate House, a home for our toddlers, aged 2 – 5;
and Foster Houses, homes in the community for children who have no families to return to.
As our main aim is to return healthy toddlers to their home communities, we have an Outreach Programme to asssist guardians with medical care and food security.