Bring Relief to Malawi’s Poor

Fight Poverty and Share God’s Love

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Known as the “warm heart of Africa” because of the friendliness of its people, the small country of Malawi, located in southeastern Africa, boasts beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. Sadly, Malawi is also one of the least developed countries in the world, and over half of the population lives in poverty. Cross Catholic Outreach is committed to providing relief to poor families materially and spiritually through our Malawi-based ministry partner.

Over half of all Malawians live in poverty.

Many of Malawi’s poorest families lack adequate food, clean water, educational opportunities and basic health care, and this cycle of poverty continues generation after generation.

Quick Facts

Population: 21,196,629 (July 2020 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP): $22.42 billion (2017 est.)

Literacy rate: 62.1% (2015 est.) (95.5% in U.S.)

Infant mortality: 39.5/1,000 live births

Population below poverty line: 50.7% (2010 est.) (15.1% in U.S.)

Primary religions: Protestant 33.5%, Roman Catholic 17.2%, other Christian denominations 26.6%

A Malawian woman collects water from a contaminated hand-dug well.

The Problem: Crushing Poverty

Chronic Malnutrition, Contaminated Water and Poor Health

Many factors contribute to Malawi’s crushing poverty. Among them are its vulnerability to natural disasters, lack of societal infrastructure, history of political unrest, economic instability, illiteracy and one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. Severe flooding ruins harvests for rural farmers — the lifeblood of Malawi’s economy — leading to food instability and increased poverty. Poor families have few opportunities for advancement and end up living in an endless cycle of survival, with little hope of breaking free.

Impoverished Malawian families suffer from chronic malnutrition, unsafe housing and substandard health services. Lack of clean drinking water poses a tremendous threat: Just over 10% of rural villages have access to clean water sources. Poor families are forced to rely on shallow streams or hand-dug holes near riverbeds — water infested with parasites that cause illnesses such as typhoid and diarrhea.

Because of Cross Catholic supporters like you, these children have access to clean water.

Faith-Based Poverty Relief

The Church in Action

Cross Catholic Outreach is tackling poverty in Malawi with help from our ministry partner the Diocese of Karonga. The diocese takes seriously Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” while providing practical help to poor rural families.

Bishop Mtumbuka, the bishop of Karonga, is passionate about seeing Catholics grow in their faith, while meeting the needs of the greater community. He believes it is the role of the Church to help people live a dignified life.

Currently, the diocese is not only building a health clinic that will serve needy families but also repairing wells to meet the desperate need for clean water in the region. Cross Catholic Outreach is committed to helping the Diocese of Karonga impact lives by funding clean water initiatives on behalf of the poor!

No one should be allowed to take advantage of poor people. [Our diocese] will
therefore, pursue evangelization, civic education and the reinforcement of the rule of law.”
~ Bishop Mtumbuka, Diocese of Karonga

Share Christ’s Love With Malawi’s Poor Families

With help from supporters like you, Cross Catholic Outreach is able to mobilize the Church in Malawi to meet the material and spiritual needs of the poor. By providing practical support for families in need, we will be the hands and feet of Christ to people longing for hope. Your financial contribution will empower the Church to provide clean water and God’s love.

Integral Catholic Ministry in Malawi

Cross Catholic Outreach is proud to partner with the Diocese of Karonga to relieve poverty in Malawi. The diocese is focused on revitalizing faith for those who have “backslidden” and deepening the spiritual opportunities of its faithful Catholics. Its motto: “We shall go to them.”

Cross Catholic Outreach is helping the diocese provide practical poverty relief to poor villagers by repairing water wells. The clean water provided by these wells changes lives! Villagers are trained in basic hygiene and sanitation — all leading to improved health and overall well-being.

In every phase of the water project, diocese leaders have kept the focus on God’s love for his people. Prayer is featured in each home visit, and each gathering of villagers starts with prayer and a presentation of the daily readings from the Church’s liturgical cycle.

The Diocese of Karonga

Christina Simkonda can finally expect good health for her two young children thanks to clean water and hygiene training provided by the Diocese of Karonga staff and funded Cross Catholic Outreach donors. The simple gift of clean water has changed her life!

“We are happy to have the well repaired,” Christina said. “The water comes easily. It will not stop again.”


Change Lives in Malawi

With your support, we can relieve material and spiritual poverty in Malawi. By giving today, you will empower the Church to provide clean water and share the love of Christ with the poor!

Change Even More Lives

Giving monthly is a small way to have a big impact. Your regular support empowers our ministry to respond to urgent needs and fulfill our long-term projects across the world.

Become a monthly donor today and experience the joy of impacting lives every month.

What’s Malawi’s predominant religion?

A majority of Malawians are Christian. 33.5% identify as Protestant, 17.2% identify as Roman Catholic, and another 26.2% belong to other Christian denominations.

Why is Malawi poor?

Malawi’s poverty can be traced to multiple factors, including susceptibility to natural disasters, illiteracy, lack of infrastructure, political unrest, and one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.

What is Malawi known for?

Malawi is reputed to be one the friendliest countries on the African continent, earning the nickname “the warm heart of Africa.” Its people have a reputation for welcoming strangers and tourists to enjoy the country’s beautiful natural resources such as wildlife, landscapes and Lake Malawi. Unfortunately, Malawi is also known for high levels of poverty, poor infrastructure, and one of the world’s highest HIV infection rates.

What are the main causes of water crisis in Malawi?

One of the main causes of the water crisis in Malawi is lack of infrastructure and the disrepair of existing wells. In many villages, even a community well is too great a luxury for the people to afford, and in those cases, families must find other ways to meet their needs. Women and girls are usually tasked with water collection, and they may need to walk an hour or more to reach the nearest water source — usually a muddy stream or hand-dug hole beside a dry river bed, where ground water can be dipped out.

How is the Catholic Church addressing poverty in Malawi?

The Catholic Church is reaching out to poor communities with God’s love by providing practical solutions. Since one of the biggest needs of poor families is clean water, the Diocese of Karonga is repairing old water wells in impoverished communities. When the Church shares clean water, it opens the door to sharing the truth of the Living Water, Jesus Christ.

You Are in Our Prayers

Cross Catholic Outreach’s staff prays daily for friends of the ministry. Click below to submit your specific prayer intentions.

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Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2022, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.