Dreamriders Scholarship Fund

The Joe Martin Skills Training Centre

Africa/Malawi




Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, is defined by a topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. It is among the smallest of African countries, occupies less than 4% of the area of the continent and is covered by water across a 1/3 of its area.  Agriculture is the main economic activity with 64% of the Malawi population engaged largely in subsistence farming using low-tech methods.  Less than 1% of land area is irrigated.  

Malawi – Facts & Statistics


• Population: 18.09 million (2016) World Bank

• GDP per Capita: 300.79 USD (2016) World Bank

• Population without Electricity:  14.9 million

• Mobile Telephone Users:  7.1 million [2016]

• Internet Users: 1.75 million [2016]

• HIV / AIDS: Prevalence at 9.3% [2016 est.]

• Currency: Malawian Kwacha

• History: British Colonial

Iris Africa Malawi is located in the town of Bangula in Nsanje District, which is the southern-most district in Malawi.  Bangula is a two-hour drive south on the M1 from the commercial city of Blantyre located along the Shire River valley. The town consists of approximately 30 villages. Local crop prospects are affected by weather extremes including high temperatures, sporadic rains, and seasonal flooding. Food security is a constant concern among the people of the Nsanje District. Most people are subsistence farmers and live off less than a dollar a day. Malaria is prevalent year round. The language spoken is Chichewa. 

Iris Africa Malawi shares a partnership with Empower Global in both the Joe Martin Skills Training Centre and the DreamRider Scholarships.  Both of these projects are working toward creating a better future for the young people of Bangula.  Access to education and functional skills development both hold the prospect of a more secure economic future and wider opportunities for employment.  The rapid integration of developing countries into the information age is creating both unique opportunities and challenges for the future.  

If you would like to become involved in serving the poor together with us in Malawi, please call or email us for more information.