Early Years


Preparing the next generation in Malawi

Since 2010, the Shine Early Years group has been touching the lives of hundreds of children in Malawi. Shine Village, which is situated in the heart of rural Kuntumanji, in the Zomba District of Southern Malawi, hosts pre-school groups and provides training for CBO’s hosting groups in their area. Here some of the most vulnerable children arrive each day to a welcoming smile and enjoy a vibrant programme of reading and writing with plenty of play, lots of traditional singing and dancing, finished with a shared meal of porridge and fruit. For some children, this may be the only meal which they receive that day. According to the United Nations research, almost half of Malawi’s 5.9 million children under the age of 5 are malnourished and for most children school starts at the age of six – or sometimes even later. With families preoccupied with the search for food, children are often kept at home to work on the land.

Children, who miss out on pre-school interactions, find it very difficult to adapt to the school environment. Lacking social skills and a limited vocabulary, they quickly fall behind in the large classes, and subsequently, perform below their potential throughout their school-life. With classes numbering between 150-200 children often give up on their education before their 12th birthday.

Our Early Years group forms an important part of the orphan care support network, which is slowly growing across the area.

A typical day at Shine Early Years

A child receives the foundational pre-school education, which is essential to prepare them for primary school.

Children have opportunity to socialise with their peers 

Daily porridge and fruit keeps them strong and healthy. Regular health checks are carried out. 

Guardians of the children attending our groups are often single mothers or sometimes still a child themselves.  Shine workers assess the health and security of children, identifying urgent needs, providing essential provisions, and improvements to dilapidated homes, common in our area. Families are often traumatised by the loss of parents or loved ones, and live with the daily challenges of extreme poverty. They are able to find help and support at Shine Village.

Sustainable ongoing support

Shine Village stands on eight acres of land, which produces crops to help to feed children. As the project grows, the surplus grown will help to sustain developments at Shine Village and across the region, providing teacher training, as well as farming, sandal and mat making, and other income-generating projects, which benefit the whole community.

Fundraise whilst recycling your children’s clothes

We take clothing to Malawi, however, due to the costs incurred we prefer to recycle here at home and send funds raised to support local businesses.

A clothes party helps with recycling and creates awareness of Shine and the children we look after at the same time. Children grow so fast and often some clothing is left hardly worn and seems too good to leave in a plastic sack for the charity shop. Selling clothes at a party is a great way to generate funds for Shine and a more sociable way than through ebay! Why not join the recycling revolution with your children’s friends and support our children in Malawi.  


Action Aid Early Years Malawi overview: