In July 2013, Lutheran Hour Ministries—Malawi launched a new radio broadcast on the Maziko Radio Station in the capital city of Lilongwe. The weekly program, titled Growing in Faith, is aimed at a wide demographic across the southeast African nation: youth and young couples—and middle-aged men and women.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Four in ten of the country’s people live beneath the international poverty line. More 50 percent of Malawi’s 15 million people are under the age of 18. Malawi’s HIV/AIDS infection rate of 11.9 percent is a significant factor in this statistic: about a million people in Malawi are living with HIV/AIDS, and nearly 70,000 Malawians die of AIDS every year; at least half of Malawi’s one million orphans have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
“Many young people in Malawi experience challenges due to personal grief and loss,” says Aubrey Bunguzu, coordinator of audience relations for Lutheran Hour Ministries—Malawi. “Most are also heavily exposed to immoral behavior, drug and substance abuse, unemployment, and sexually transmitted diseases. And parents and guardians are finding it difficult to deal with some of their behaviors; they have few skills and little knowledge about how best to address them.”
The Growing in Faith program is designed to provide a forum for young people and those who care for them. “It will be a place where both groups can connect to try to reach a common understanding,” Bunguzu says.
“It’s our hope,” says Bunguzu, “that as youth and their parents or guardians develop faith in each other, this faith will be a point through which youth can be led to faith in Christ.
“To promote Growing in Faith, the ministry center has set up mobile phone lines, a Facebook page and physical contact information,” Bunguzu says. “We anticipate being able to use the responses we receive through these channels to monitor and evaluate the impact of the programs.”
Bunguzu says that Growing in Faith will run through February 2014.
To learn how you and your church can partner with Lutheran Hour Ministries—Malawi in outreach projects such as the Growing in Faith program, visit www.lhm.org/partner.