We’re raising awareness with couples, community groups and schools about the effects of large families on natural resources.

Family Planning and Sexual Health Malawi Africa
Malawian families currently have an average of five children
Family Planning and Sexual Health Malawi Africa
Couples are being encouraged to discuss the benefits of smaller families
Demonstrating the impact of population growth on Malawi's resources
Demonstrating the impact of population growth on Malawi's resources

What We Have Achieved

  • We’re helping to change peoples’ views on family size, which not only directly impacts the health and well-being of families, but also contributes to better conservation of natural resources, so that the environment benefits as a result.

How We Work

  • We are working in local schools and with different community groups to highlight the problems arising from having large families and the impact on Malawi, its resources and on financial security.

The Project’s Future

  • Continue working with the community groups and local schools, to educate them and establish whether communities are keen to adopt a change for a better future.

What It Costs

By donating to this project, you will help us to reach more community groups to raise awareness on the effects of family size.

Community demonstration Malawi
Communities learn about equal partnerships and sharing responsibilities
Family planning available in clinics Malawi
Midwives talk to women about Family Planning and the options available
Men are keen to understand the benefits of a smaller family
Men are keen to understand the benefits of a smaller family

Further Information

Why It Is So Important

In Malawi the population is growing by one person every minute. In the 1950s the population of Malawi was about three million. Today it is more than 19 million; that’s a 500% increase. If the UK had increased at the same rate we would have a similar population to the United States of America.

With all of the projects that Ripple Africa are involved with in Malawi whether it’s fish conservation, forest conservation, education or healthcare, the major problems arise because of the rapid population growth. If Malawians can be encouraged to reduce the size of their families, then their natural resources will last a lot longer.

What We Have Achieved

Khumbolawao, a nurse midwife, and Watson, a health worker, are both employed by Ripple Africa and are now working on a family planning project to raise awareness in local schools and with different community groups. We are working in conjunction with the local government health centres to educate people about the impact of family size on family finances, land and resources and offer advice on the contraceptive methods available.

How We Work

Simple fun demonstrations highlight the current and future problems arising from having large families and the impact on Malawi, its resources and on individual families. For example, we illustrate the impact of population growth by involving the students or community members who are asked one by one to stand on a small mat. The mat represents Malawi and each person represents three million people clearly showing how much space there was in Malawi in the 1950s and how little space there is today and for the future. These demonstrations are helping to change perception of the ideal family size from five to two children per family.

We are also encouraging husbands and wives to work in partnership to make decisions about family size.

The Project’s Future

Ripple Africa will continue to employ two staff and they will guide other community members in order to extend the project. We’ll continue working with the community groups and local schools to ensure that the message of the impact of family size on Malawi’s natural resources and therefore their future prosperity is fully understood.

This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals: