Family Planning in Malawi


Pete: Good start. Please tell me more about who you are communicating with and what your plans are. Present website grade: 8/10. Try to use graphs to show changes (like your partners, the PB mamas did). Present grade 8/10

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School-aged girls in Malawi are getting pregnant. They lack proper birth control methods and access to tools and information that prevent the unplanned and unwanted pregnancies that take them out of school. Birthing at such a young age can be very dangerous for girls and their babies because young mothers are fifteen times more likely to die in childbirth from complications like fistulas, eclampsia, or anemia. Children have narrow pelvic bones that are unable to fit a baby through. They may have underdeveloped breast and cannot produce milk for their child, hurting the child’s chances of survival. The baby is also at higher risk for premature birth, low birthweight, chronic health problems, and death compared to mothers who are at least eighteen years old.



We created a system of birth control distribution called Limba. Limba educates teachers at community schools about the benefits of putting girls on birth control as soon as they are fertile. The school will distribute pre made packs of supplies for girls who sign up for our program.

For more information, see our YouTube video or take a look at the SlideShow.


1. Design a cost-effective and practical “family planning pack” that can be distributed by the girls’ schools that contains either NuvaRing or the patch and condoms.

2. Create a comprehensive information pamphlet that describes both linguistically and pictorially how to properly use the aforementioned birth control methods, as well as how use of birth control is beneficial to girls in enhancing their future.

3. Establish a relationship with schools to raise awareness about the family planning pack and more permanent birth control options.



1. Learn more about the current birth control options for girls in Malawi.

2. Develop a deeper understanding of the gestational process for girls in Malawi.


  • Girls in Malawi will receive the information and tools necessary to prevent unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.

  • Girls are aware of the risks of early pregnancy.

  • Girls have a choice whether to get pregnant or not and when the time is right for them.

  • Fewer children are born, and therefore fewer children will die before the age of 5.

  • Girls who are part of our program and choose not to have children early in life have a better chance of finishing their education.

  • Girls and women feel empowered and feel in control of their own bodies.

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  • Found information from Dr. Frank Taulo, Director of the Centre for Reproductive Health in Malawi

  • Stated unmet need is higher among younger women when it comes to preventing pregnancy in general

  • Problems connecting FP to economic development and political stability

  • Girl child education

How has understanding of culture/community evolved?
We’ve identified that there’s a higher need for FP support amongst younger women. We’ve confirmed that the best route of administration would be the schools, because it’s a central place that most girls frequent at the time of menstruation onset. First, we were going to distribute pills, but we learned that Malawians don’t view time as we do and the necessity to take the pill at the same time very day wouldn’t be met and the pill wouldn’t be a very effective method for the women and girls in Malawi.

What changes have you made to your project?
We’ve decided to tailor our focus towards younger women compared to women who’ve already had children or who aren’t school-aged anymore. We’ve changed the distribution route for our product. We’ve changed the type of contraception focused on based on our research of the Malawian culture.

What challenges are you still facing?
Currently, we’re having trouble bridging the gap between an idea and a concrete, cheap solution. We have contacted seven NGOs or private companies that relate to our goal but none have responded to our emails. For at least two organizations, multiple emails have been sent.



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Kathryn Greenup: A second-year architect student from Santa Maria, CA. She enjoys reading, hiking, homemade kettlecorn, and hates coffee. Essentially a seven-year-old who is really smart for her age.

Contact info: 805.863.6663

Sara Feldman: A third year Political Science major from Santa Clarita, CA. She loves to sing, sleep, read, go to the beach, play with animals, and eat (as long as the meal is vegetarian). She hopes to become a lawyer one day.

Contact info: 661.433.1049

Paige Cross: A third year journalism major from Coronado, CA. She loves to write, watch stand up comedy, read and cook. When she was 6 she got kicked off the soccer team for trying to wrestle a boy.

Contact info: 619.623.5529