Supporting Children Orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Malawi

Partnership objectives

Supporting schools and orphan centers in Malawi, for children aged 3 to 19 by providing:

  1. Housing, clothing, meals and basic healthcare.
  2. Primary and secondary education.
  3. Skills training and opportunities for children and young adults to become self-sufficient.
  4. Training up of local teachers through a teachers training college.

Roche Children's Walk unites Roche employees all over the world in one cause: to raise money for vulnerable children. Roche Children's Walk unites Roche employees all over the world in one cause: to raise money for vulnerable children. Copyright Roche

What are the health needs and challenges?

Vulnerable children can have worse outcomes later in their lives. They have more health problems, poorer education and employment outcomes and even increased rates of criminal activity and incarceration. They can be found in many countries, particularly in least developed countries.

Malawi is a peaceful and stable country, but it is also one of the least developed countries in the world. Almost half the population is younger than 15 years old and half a million children have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Forty percent of the population live on less than US$ 1 per day and there are close to 250,000 acutely malnourished children below the age of five.

Seventy-five percent of children are unable to access secondary school education. Yet evidence has shown that getting and keeping young people in school, particularity girls, can dramatically decrease their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Every year, Roche employees join together for the Roche Children’s Walk to raise essential funds for vulnerable children worldwide. The money raised is matched by Roche and goes towards supporting projects connected to children around the world, with a focus on improving the lives of individuals and communities, both now and for a sustainable future. 

Over half of the money is used to help support HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Malawi through projects run by Roche’s partner organisations – the European Coalition of Positive People (ECPP) and UNICEF Switzerland. 

The funds raised have helped to implement and support the running and equipping of much needed orphan centres by ECPP where children are given food, clothing, practical skills training and the chance of a secondary school education. The children also receive training in skills such as tin-smithing, carpentry and knitting. Local community leaders and villagers are trained to competently manage these centres by ECPP, encouraging self-reliance amongst the communities we help. 

A further share of the funds are used by UNICEF to support primary education by building classrooms, improving facilities and providing learning materials.  Roche is also supporting UNICEF to build a teachers training college that will house more than 500 new local teachers by 2017, helping future generations in Malawi benefit from an education.

Roche’s support aims to encourage self-sustainability by helping local communities develop the skills and knowledge which will improve their lives today, and for future generations to come.  Education, along with proper nutrition and health, are the pillars of a sustainable society and critical necessities in developing countries.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Since 2003, five orphan centers in Malawi have been equipped and 17,000 orphan children in Malawi have been supported. Furthermore, the funds have been able to:

  • Provide 5,600,000 meals, 300,000 school uniforms and 6,000 books;
  • Build 18 classrooms to create better learning environments;
  • Provide over 2,000 orphaned children with primary health care;
  • Support over 1,000 with secondary education;
  • Train 200 students who are now student teachers;
  • Develop practical skills such as carpentry, tin-smithing and tailoring for 4,000 children.

As local affiliates can use up to 50% of the raised donations for local children projects, over 90 additional local organisations are supported all around the world, including foundations, charities, hospitals, children’s homes, schools, hospices and orphanages. 

By continuing to support these projects through this annual fundraising event, Roche aims to make permanent sustainable change for vulnerable children in Malawi, and other countries around the world. 


Roche Children's Walk

Partnership information

Company(ies) Roche

Partner(s) European Coalition of Positive People (ECPP), UNICEF

Type of Partner(s) IGOs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases, Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, HIV/AIDS, Malnutrition

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Financial Support, Availability of Treatment - Product Donations, Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Youth

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Malawi

Start Date 2003

More information Roche Children's Walk

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« See where I am, I can say that my future is bright and I can support my two siblings at home. The children in the programs will be able to stand on their own and do whatever they want. »

Louis Nyongo, former student at the ECPP center and current ECPP Malawi employee