Malawi is nicknamed “the Warm Heart of Africa” by both locals and visitors for its friendly spirit and welcoming people. But behind the smiles and eternal optimism of its culture, Malawi is one of the poorest places on earth. In the bottom five of any statistical measure, Malawian people as a whole earn less than a dollar a day. As a subsistence economy, most people live in rural villages along the crystal clear waters of one of the world’s largest and most beautiful lakes: Lake Malawi. A hardworking people, Malawians crave opportunity to improve themselves and their loved ones. Malawi is 90% Christian and 10% Islamic and religion is quite important in dealing with the struggles of everyday life. Elementary education is free and compulsory in Malawi but high school requires a fee to be paid each year. This barrier means that most Malawians will not have an education past the 8th grade level. Malawi is a functioning multiparty democracy and its people boast of the peace that is inherent in the culture. Malawi recently reelected its president, Bingu wa Mutharika, for an additional five year term. A Western educated former United Nations official, Bingu promotes solid investment in Malawi and leads an anti-corruption campaign that continues to make Malawi a great environment in which to operate. For all of the hardship, hunger, disease, lack of education and lack of opportunity, the people of Malawi continue to strive for advancement through hard work and honesty.