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Empowering families with maize starter packs

Part of our mission is to ensure that children have safe and secure homes to return to when they are fit and well.

Malawi is one of the poorest nations in the world: 40% of the population live on less than a dollar per day, and 90% of families grow their own food to eat. One bad harvest could devastate a family and drive them further into poverty.

To give our children the strongest possible start when they return home, we give out agricultural starter packs to families in need every year. These packs include bags of fertilizer and ‘mbweu’ maize seeds, which are Malawi’s main crop. This, alongside our ongoing community support, gives families the tools they need to look after their children's nutritional needs. 

Last year over 300 packs were sent out ahead of the rainy season and we are delighted that the Malawi Millennium Project at Strathclyde University funded this essential community support.

Vanessa and Janello

Vanessa and Janello came to Open Arms as babies in 2014 after their mother sadly died. Their relatives were unable to take them in, so they stayed with us until they were three years old. They then went to live with a young aunt who had started visiting and had bonded with them.

Vanessa has a problem with regulating her blood sugar, so nutrition is doubly important. We provided this young family with maize starter packs to help them grow food for the girls to stay happy and healthy as they grow up.

Village Essentials

Kondwani Baiwa

Eleven-year-old Kondwani lives with his two grandmothers, an aunt and two young cousins. His two sisters live with another aunt a few miles away, and he visits them occasionally. Kondwani is in grade three at a nearby school. He loves going to school and works hard every day.

Kondwani’s grandmothers, with the support of our starter packs, work from early morning until late afternoon in their maize garden. These crops provide them with a sustainable source of food for the family and allow Kondwani to focus on his schoolwork, safe in the knowledge that a meal will be waiting for him when he gets home.


Last year we distributed almost 8,000kg of seed and fertilizer to families in rural Malawi and to our own staff, providing meals, security and nutrition for this year. It also allows us to check in with families and provide other support as needed in some of the very remote areas we cover.

We'd like to send a huge thank you to the Malawi Millennium Project at Strathclyde University for supporting this life-changing work.

This month we will start our 2020 / 2021 distribution and we look forward to bring you news of this years project as the packs are delivered and planted.

Maize pack
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