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A Village of Hope

In the African nation of Malawi, families toil in fields as malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases go untreated. But hope is within reach: The Millennium Promise, a philanthropy run by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs and supported by Angelina Jolie, is working with 60 villages (so far) to make them healthily self-sufficient through such simple tools as schools, seeds and clean drinking water. Here is what PEOPLE reporter Mary Green saw in the village of Mwandana.

DINNER TIME

The family lives on sima, a dish made of cornmeal and water. "If you can find them, you have vegetables," says Cecilia. "Or, if you are fortunate enough, you can get fish." Anna (center) often makes the meals, and keeps house while her mom works. But once the village gets its promised new school, her kids will "definitely" be going, says Cecilia.