“Petits Músics del Món” works in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi and is one of the poorest areas of the city, area 23. Malawi is a country in the presidentialist Republic of Africa bordering Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Malawi has 18.5 million inhabitants and the capital, Lilongwe has 812,000 people. Malawi is among the 20 poorest countries in the world, ranked 172 in the Human Development Index (HDI), with a per capita income of $ 330.
Malawi shows a low economic structure and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), where the primary sector is still the country’s main source of income. These include agriculture, fishing and mining, with agriculture being the largest economic activity in the country. Fisheries are still an important area of income, especially in the Nyasa Lake region, where about 200,000 people work directly in the sector.
It is a basically agricultural country, with a production focused on wheat, tea, sugar and coffee. Much of the population lives in rural areas and 85% of Malawians are engaged in this activity, which accounts for 90% of export revenue. Rural areas lack a network of water distribution, water supply and irrigation systems. This situation implies an absolute dependence on the weather conditions, leaving the agricultural population in a very vulnerable situation.
The country has suffered two severe droughts and severe floods in 2015 and 2016 which had a direct impact on the population of Malawi. In 2016, Malawi el Niño, a climate phenomenon related to the warming of the equatorial eastern Pacific, was a climate phenomenon, which led to rising temperatures and a very severe drought. As a result, many rivers, fields, crops and wells were affected, resulting in a shortage of food and livestock and an increase in the number of fires.
Despite these difficulties, Malawi is still a peaceful and stable country with great potential, which facilitates the development of the project in this area.
These issues in the countryside and in the rural areas translate to internal migratory flows into the cities, especially to the more precarious urban neighborhoods, as would be the case in Area 23 of Lilongwe. This area is located on the southeastern tip of Lilongwe and is the specific area where this project is being implemented.
It is an area located in the southeast of the city, where the population is mostly Chewa and characterized by low income from precarious work. In this area lies our counterpart, Music Crossroads-Malawi, which also suffers from the same shortcomings as most Lilongwe settlements.
Area 23 is about 10 km from the city center, at a considerable distance and difficult to access without the use of transport. This is a great cost for most families who have low pay to stay. Schools have been built in Lilongwe settlements, but they do not cover the education of all girls and boys and fail to provide quality and comprehensive education. At least 70% of the settlements surrounding Lilongwe do not have enough seats for students.
This has led to a great overcrowding of the classrooms, reaching a ratio of 1 teacher to 120 students. It is noteworthy that schools do not have the right resources; there is a lack of tables, chairs and school supplies. These structural educational gaps and obstacles impede the development of education.