Child Headed Households

One of the most devastating consequences of the AIDS crisis in Malawi is that fewer orphans are absorbed into their extended families. In many cases, there are no surviving relatives or relatives that are financially able to take in these orphans, leaving the children to care for themselves without an adult. This living situation is referred to as a “Child Headed Household” or (CHH).


The oldest child (often a teenager or in some cases only 7 or 8 years old) assumes the responsibility of the sole provider, caregiver, and protector of the family which deprives them of their childhood and the opportunity to go to school. This also forces them to look for ways to provide for their siblings, which increases their vulnerability to child labor, HIV infections, and destructive sexual and cultural practices. 


Many of these children live in homes that are made out of mud bricks, grass, tree branches, dried banana leaves, and any plastic they find to keep the rain out. In many cases, the roof can no longer keep the rain out, the walls are cracked and have gaping holes, and the doors and windows (if any) are broken.


Your monthly sponsorship of a Child Headed Household allows the Passion Center to begin providing the resources that a parent would otherwise provide: protection, food, education, shelter, and loving support.

Child Headed Household

I remember one granny who had suffered a stroke and was the guardian for her 14-year old grandson, neither of whom could take good care of the other. When we came out to their house to welcome them into the program, she said “Every night since you came I have been praying that God would make a way where there was no way. Today, God has answered my prayers." The lives of the CHH families are forever changed because they finally have hope and are being shown love and support where some thought there was no hope.   

-Jodi Gardner

Passion Center Missionary Intern