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We are delighted that you are interested in visiting Malawi and supporting our work - thank you! Please select from our Volunteering Opportunities below and come out to Malawi and help us! We are a small organisation. We focus our time on building school, library and sports facilities and we do not charge a fee to volunteers. As a result we cannot offer a huge depth of Volunteering Opportunities for people wanting to help or the level of support that organised tours offer. We hope that you understand and see this as a positive. Our size allows you to get involved where you are really needed!
How you can get involved:
1) Short-Term Visitor - Enthusiastic People Needed Now!
A one-week programme that introduces you to a range of different people and projects in Malawi including a few days at our flagship project Lingadzi Academy (Lilongwe). Visitors typically follow this by taking a week or two to travel around Malawi - it's beautiful.
Please note that should you enjoy your time we would welcome you to stay for longer just please be aware that we will not provide you with a timetable of things to do!
We are looking for people that are:
Then we need your help!
Desired outcomes of your involvement:
An example itinerary is as follows (NB this is subject to change):
Please note that you will be responsible for your own travel costs
Monday - Introduction to Lingadzi Academy and tour of Ntandire with Henry
Tuesday - School and Library Tour of Lilongwe. Kaps, Falls, City Centre Library
Wednesday - Visit a village - trip to Malingunde to see work of Dalitso Trust
Thursday - Visit Crisis Nursery, Disability Centre and HIV team at Grassroots Soccer Malawi
Friday - Prison Visit and Sports Coaching at Lingadzi Academy
Sat/Sun - Visit Lake Malawi
How long for:
Ideally a minimum of 1 week. Any time of the year. We are flexible but please note that there will not always be an itiniary for you to follow. If you enjoy your time then we would welcome you to stay as long as you like!
How to apply:
Yes! That sounds perfect! Count me in. What should I do next?
Book your flights (Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways are typically the cheapest. Around £600 return. Try justtheflight.co.uk to compare prices) and accommodation (MabuyaCamp.com is good and cheap) and contact us to let us know when you'll be arriving! (scroll down for more frequently asked questions)
2) Long-Term Volunteer - Qualified Primary and Secondary Teachers Needed Now!
We look for our long-term volunteers to effectively provide Continuing Professional Development for our team members. To volunteer for us you must be willing to go to Malawi with a syllabus or organised programme with a view to training our team members. We hope that this will ensure that your contribution lasts long after they have left.
We are looking for:
We are looking for people that have a strong level of knowledge in a topic that can be beneficial to the teachers at our schools, coaches at our sports fields or our managers.
1) Experienced Sports Coaches
2) Experienced Teachers - Primary or Secondary
3) Experienced Managers
Desired outcomes from your involvement
It is hoped that you will go with a syllabus and train our team and most importantly leave having passed some of your expertise on. We hope that you will be able to improve the skills of our team and that you too will learn a great amount about how things run in Malawi. This experience will also contribute to your professional development.
How long for?
Typically we would expect volunteers to commit to a significant period of time (at least 2 weeks) as it is imperitive that you have the time to become familiar with the country.
How to apply:
That's exactly what I was looking for! Yes please. I'd love to provide my knowledge in a constructive way like this. Please count me in. What should I do next?
Contact us. Send through some information about yourself and your skills as well as the time of year you hope to volunteer and the duration of time you will be out there. We will then arrange a phone call to discuss your plans and make sure we can place you effectively.
Keep scrolling for frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions (please send any questions to us here!):
Who is it for?
How much will it cost in total?
Around £1200 total. Malawi can cater for any budget. You will be amazed at how far your money can go if you want it to and you will be amazed at the incredible things you can see and do on a reasonable budget. It's a tricky one to estimate buy generally if you're going for a 2 week trip it is likely that with everything included it will cost you around £1000. We guess that it would cost an additional £150 per week thereafter. The best way to get an idea of costs is to get in touch with us. We will be happy to talk to you and more often than not we will be able to meet with you in the UK before you leave.
How much will food cost?
We estimate a typical combination of eating in and eating out will cost around of £30-50 per week. There are plenty of places to eat within walking distance of our schools and near the guesthouses and hotels.
When can I go?
Do I need Vaccinations or any other Health considerations?
Yes. You will need to visit a health centre in the UK to arrange appropriate vaccinations and also anti-malarials. This may cost around £200. Also be aware that this is a private service offered by a surgery. Different surgeries charge different prices so shop around!
How much will it cost to travel around Malawi
Travel with a tourist company can be expensive and hiring a vehicle is also expensive (approx £25 per day). We recommend jumping on the buses and having a real adventure! The africa on a shoestring recommends a budget of $15-$20 per day but you can do it for far less than that. Or far more if luxury is your thing! Scroll down for travel ideas
How is the school day structured?
The schools tend to start early in the morning at around 7am and continue through to 2pm. The schools run a similar syllabus to schools in the UK (indeed Malawi was once a British colony and the curriculum was initially set up by the British). There is more focus on topics such as agriculture but that aside they are very similar. Classes run for around 45mins to 1 hour. They typically have an assembly in the morning and later in the day have a break-time and a lunch break - just like us!
Malawi lies, land locked, in the Great Rift Valley, 20% of its area is taken by the picturesque Lake Malawi, which runs along the North East edge. To the south Mt Mulanje, Central Africa's highest peak, towers above the plains. In the North is the Nyika Plateau, a vast expance of rolling hills, dotted with herds of zebra and antelope. Scattered through Malawi's varied landscape are several Game reserves and Parks where the big five can still be spotted. In the middle of the country and only 1 1/2 hours from the lake shore is the capital city and the base for BFiM, Lilongwe.
Lilongwe is a small city, scattered over a large area. It has two centers, old and new. In the new side, City Centre, you will find offices, banks and government Embassies seperated by well kept gardens and grassy areas. In old town you will find a vast bustling market and the chaotic mini-bus station, it is busy here and there is plenty to be seen.
This is a small town at the eastern end of a board peninsula that juts into the lake from Salima. The clear water and sandy beaches are inviting and you can go windsurfing, canoeing and snorkelling. You can also go hiking in the nearby Senga Hills.
Steps campsite/Livingstonia Beach Hotel - this is a gorgeous campsite. There's good security and spotless bathrooms (but no hot water). It sits peacefuly at the end of a private beach where a rocky headland juts into the water.
The small, bustling town of Nkhata Bay is cradled amoung the hills of the northern lakeshore. In front of the town a peninsula where Ilala ferry docks, juts into the lake. Although local 'tour guides' are a nuisance, Nkhata Bay is a lovely place to visit and offers a good balance of activaties and relaxation.
Njaya Lodge - Perched serenly on a hilltop above the lake, this place is ledgedary on the travellers grapevine. The chalets range from simple without bathroom to comforatable with bathroom. The bar and restaurant open onto a wide terrace with a magnificent view.
This small port, at the southern end of lake Malawi, is home to a large and animated monkey population. It is also home to theIlala, the trusty passenger ferry that has been chugging slowly up and down the lake for more than 50 years. Most visitors arrive or depart on the Ilala, from the deck you will get a unique view of Malawi as the ferry calls at isolated villages, loading and offloading its intriguing cargo of fish, bicycles, goats and furniture.
Nyika National Park
Shrouded in peaceful solitude amid an expanse of waving grass and rolling hills the Nyika Plateau is protected by the Nyika National Park. The park is home to the rare roan antelope as well as many other grazing animals. The air is pure and there is a special kind of beauty in the barronness of the plateau. On clear days the views from the edge of the plateau are endless. Although you won't see the bigger animals you see in other parks, the distinctive feature of Nyika is the romantic landscape. As you approach antelope and zebra will watch warily from a distance or gallop off into the safety of the tall pine forests around the camp.
Once inside the park you can arrange day walks or hikes that last all week, horseback safaris or drives with a ranger.
Liwonde National Park
A few kilometres south of Lake Malawi, Liwonde national park is a fine wilderness area. A boat trip of the wide River Shire, which meanders lazily through the park, is a great way to explore. You can watch floating islands of weed slip past on the smooth current, birds building their nests in the reeds, snorting hippos and snoozing crocks.
As well as its river dwelling creatures Liwonde is known for its large elephant population. You'll also see plenty of Antelope species and warthog. If you are lucky you may even spot a lion or leopard. There's also a rhino breeding programe close to Mvuu Camp. It's best to visit in the dry season when the roads are more accessable and animals are easier to spot.
Mvuu Camp - This beautiful camp is perched on the riverbank in the northern part of the park. It has comfortably furnished chalets and roomy walk-in tents with bathrooms. There's a large thatched restaurant and bar overlooking the river.
Malawi's commercial capital, Blantyre was named after a town near Glasgow in Scotland, the birthplace of David Livingstone. The city is spread out along Chilembwe Hwy to the point where it merges into its 'sister city', Limbe. The city centre, however, hemmed into a triangle by Victoria Ave, Haile Selassie and Glyn Jones Rds is very compact and most places of interest are within easy walking distance.
Friday 14th December 2012
Hi everyone, Building Malawi has been extremely fortunate to welcome many visitors and volunteers to Lingadzi Academy in Malawi. These wonderful folk have posted photos to our Facebook Page. Please check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/BuildingMalawi/photos_stream Be sure to like us on Facebook too! We would love it if you could visit Lingadzi Academy. We do not charge our volunteers. For more information check out our Volunteers page here: http://www.buildingmalawi.com/volunteer.html Best wishes from the entire team at Building Malawi! [caption id="attachment_103" align="alignnone" width="301" caption="Kids at Lingadzi Academy earlier this year"][/caption]
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