Population: 15.9 million (2012)
Official languages: Chichewa, English
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Student Christian Organisation of Malawi (SCOM)
Malawi celebrates 50 years of independence on 6 July 2014 in the midst of growing financial instability largely due to poor governance, corruption in high places and low agricultural production. Yet the country has its share of natural resources that if properly managed, could lift the nation into notable socio-economic development.
Malawi continues to enjoy freedom of worship even though in some areas religious intolerance is steadily growing. In urban areas there is a spiritual awakening and an increasing commitment to daily, morning devotions in Protestant churches. What is lacking, however, is the holistic presentation of the gospel to prepare the church for works of service in society.
- 70 institutions, SCOM groups in 65
- 15 full-time staff, 6 volunteers/part-time staff
- graduate ministry: 1000 associates and growing
- high school ministry: about 55,000 students
- largest tertiary group, 500 members; largest secondary group, over 300 members
- smallest group is at Livingstonia Technical College, 25 members
SCOM continues to reach out to most of the students in the secondary and tertiary schools. However an increase in church-led students groups on campus is affecting the total membership of the movement. That notwithstanding, SCOM continues to witness large number of students to its conferences every year. In 2013, about 10,000 students attended SCOM conferences over one weekend. In 2014, conferences have been organized in 36 different centres.
HIV/AIDS programs are also helping SCOM to reach out the community. This is slowly changing the perception of church towards SCOM. In some cases, church and community leaders are joining hands to support the work of SCOM.
View from the inside
A church leader says, “I am convinced that the hope of this nation is in SCOM. God would like to use SCOM to bring about lasting transformation on this nation.”
The senior Cabinet Minister testifies of SCOM’s impact on his life: “I can say here with all sincerity and boldness that I am what I am today because of what SCOM invested in me when I was young and vulnerable during my secondary school and university days.”
- for SCOM to remain committed to the core of its ministry: evangelism, discipleship, prayer, Bible study, leadership development;
- that SCOM continues as strategic partner of the church and government in holistic youth development;
- that SCOM will be able to raise resources to construct the much needed youth centre;
- for sustainable means of fund-raising in the midst of economic uncertainties;
- that SCOM members will stand out as salt and light in the marketplace and demonstrate integrity in the midst of corruption.