Scripture Union of Malawi

Scripture Union of Malawi (SUM) is an interdenominational organisation that seeks to nurture children and youth, strengthen family life and help people engage with God through the Bible, so that they may follow Jesus Christ and be instrumental in transforming Malawi.

The vision of SUM is to see children and young people following Jesus, filled with hope, and transforming Malawi.

Working with children, young people and families, in schools and churches, SUM’s main emphasis is in:

  1. Encouraging Bible-reading through the production of Bible-reading aids and the distribution of Christian Literature

  2. Youth and Bible Clubs, and Bible Study Groups

  3. Training for School-leavers

  4. AIDS Prevention and Education Programmes

  5. Youth Camps

  6. Family Ministries

In the late 1960’s a number of people, both Malawians and expatriates, who knew of Scripture Union’s (SU) ministry in other countries had tried to introduce various aspects of SU work amongst young people, alongside their other responsibilities. 

In 1970, they called Ralph and Jane Hanger to come and concentrate on establishing the ministry of Scripture Union in Malawi (SUM). 

As there was already a national organisation – Student Christian Organisation of Malawi (SCOM) – doing a good work in the Secondary schools of Malawi, SUM concentrated on working with the young people who had left secondary schools and colleges and had moved to the towns. 

Bible study groups were established across denominations for these young people as they were encouraged to be active in their own churches.

After a few years Ralph was given an active role in SCOM, as Literature Secretary, which formed positive links with the schools ministry throughout the country. Bible reading promotion in urban and rural congregations became an important part of the ministry and in the early 1980's a teachers’ Christian Fellowship, mainly for primary school teachers, led to Primary school Bible clubs being established.

Since its inception, SUM has sought to promote and encourage the increase of evangelistic outreach among children and young people, Bible Reading and life-skills work in primary schools, some secondary schools and churches. As a Christian organisation, SUM is concerned with the Christian and spiritual development of children, teenagers and young adults.

With the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, SUM has

The current staff members of SU Malawi

been involved in integrating programmes to address HIV/AIDS, life skills and reproductive health education amongst its target cohorts. SUM’s goal in this is to promote reproductive health and reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and HIV by instituting awareness promotion and
behaviour change with a view to instituting intervention through Christian and practical life skills capacity buildings.

The National Council oversees SUM’s ministry, which is divided into three regions - Central, Northern and Southern. SUM’s headquarters is in Lilongwe, with regional offices in Mzuzu and Blantyre. There is also a network of local volunteers throughout the country, running weekly clubs in schools and leading camps and crusades during

SU Malawi’s National Director, Amon Chanika

vacation times. The current General Secretary of SUM is Amon Chanika.