It is 9 am in the morning but the scorching sun makes it feel like mid-afternoon. This type of weather is what experts are calling El Nino; a heat wave that is affecting countries in southern and eastern Africa.
Being a single mother at the age of 19 is not what most teenage girls want for themselves. But this is the life Esther Mkwakwasa is living in Namphungo village in Mulanje District. Orphaned at the age of 14, Esther saw herself being moved from one foster home to another until she got pregnant.
Patrick Martin, 14, and his brother Mayeso, 15, are safely home for the moment with their mother and other siblings in Kasonya village, Phalombe District in southern Malawi, after they and 12 other children were rescued from being trafficked to neighbouring Mozambique last month by their father.
Three-month-old Simplicious Gift lives in Mafunga village in Malawi’s southern rural district of Chikhwawa, 48 kilometres from the commercial capital, Blantyre. His is a poor farming village of about 1,200 people who live off their harvests and the produce from their livestock of goats, pigs and cows.