In Malawi, almost one in two children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition or "stunting", problems which are compounded by persistent food shortages and high incidence of diseases, including HIV.

The long-term impacts of malnutrition on a child’s mental and physical development are serious and irreversible. But they can be prevented, and at relatively little cost. There is a critical window of opportunity to intervene when mothers are pregnant and during a child’s first two years of life – the 1,000 special days.

What UNICEF is doing

Initially working across two regions in Malawi, this project aims to reach close to 200,000 women aged 15-49 and improve the nutrition of over 60,000 children under the age of two.

UNICEF will train health and community workers to share information within their communities on best nutritional practices for mothers and their babies.

Community leaders will carry out sessions on good nutrition as well as promote crop diversification, small livestock production and community and kitchen gardens which will help to encourage better nutrition for mothers and their children.

Community groups will carry out regular growth monitoring sessions, allowing parents the opportunity to learn about child growth and best child care practices to encourage healthy development.

Help us achieve this goal

The prevalence of stunting among Malawi’s children is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malnutrition doesn’t just affect a child’s development – the impacts can be seen in reduced learning and school completion rates, reduced economic growth and increased child and maternal mortality, to name just a few.

£9,300 could support project activities in 50 villages and communities across Neno and Nkhata Bay districts in Malawi.

To find out more about this project or to support it, please email us or call the Trusts and Foundations Team on 020 7375 6103.

UNICEF projects supported by trust and foundation donations © UNICEF/MLWB2011-00093/Shehzad Noorani
A young girl child smiles sitting at Mwazisi Health Center in Garanglanda village, in the northern region of Malawi. © UNICEF/MLWB2011-00093/Shehzad Noorani