This project, which is based in the Mangochi District at the southern end of Lake Malawi aims to help implement effective teaching methods as well as extra-curricular activities in a number of rural and seriously underfunded schools. By volunteering with a project such as this you are undeniably helping to better the lives of the youth of this rural area of Malawi, where schools do not have enough educational resources or qualified teachers to deal with the number of students in attendance every day.
Sports activities in the afternoon have become an excellent way to focus the minds of the children and give them an opportunity to exercise and have fun. As with under-resourced schools, the sporting activities also suffer because of a lack of equipment and motivated teachers or coaches to run the practices or organize matches.
What's not Included
Landlocked between the East African countries of Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique lies the home of Africa’s warmest people; Malawi. Malawi is a country filled with National Parks and Game Reserves, lush highlands and tropical forests split by the Great Rift Valley and the clear waters of its main attraction – Lake Malawi. This project takes place on the banks of this majestic landmark and with its white shores and sapphire waters could easily be mistaken for a tropical island resort.
Whilst volunteering on this project you will be helping to improve the education of children that are eager to learn and to provide them with the skills needed to better their futures. You will also be involved in leading different sports activities, including football and netball sessions, providing the children of this area with a healthy and positive environment to be active.
You will assist with teaching the core curriculum subjects in one of the local Primary schools, unless you have a lot of teaching experience, in which case you may be able to assist in a Secondary school. Depending on your experience or interest, the subjects you teach may include English, Mathematics, the Sciences, Creative Arts or Health Education.
In the afternoons you will organize and manage recreational sports activities including football and netball training session. Depending on the length of your stay, you may have the opportunity to arrange matches for the children.
School Holidays: In Malawi there are three school terms each year. The longest holidays are during the summer, with shorter breaks around Easter and Christmas.
During the school holidays volunteers are involved with additional classes aimed at keeping children occupied and out of trouble. These are supplemented by activities and lessons organized and motivated by you, with the support of the coordinators and school heads. You may teach Arts and Crafts, Music, Drama, extra - English and Reading, Wildlife and Environment classes as well as coach games and sports.
Please note: There is much less structure to these holiday programs, therefore, you will need to be prepared to work independently in thinking up ways to motivate the children to participate in your activities and be creative and proactive in planning the sessions.
A typical day: Volunteers are expected to work 5 days a week with evenings and weekends free. You will leave the volunteer house at 07.00 each day in order to be at the school for a 07:30 start.
The school day usually finishes between 11.00 and 12.00, where you will have a well-deserved lunch break. Depending on the season and the activity you are taking, you afternoon session will usually start at 14.00, but could start at 15.00 if the weather is very hot. Afternoon activities take place Monday to Thursday and you will return to the volunteer house by about 17.00 each day. Friday afternoon is free, as you may be departing on a weekend excursion.
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
- Minimum age 18
- Good command of English
- Physical fitness
- Motivation to work with children
- Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
- Police clearance form
Project Orientation (Included):
- The day after your arrival at the project site, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:
- An introduction to Malawian culture
- Basic local greetings
- Your health and safety whilst in Malawi
- An introduction to some of the project staff
- Money and transportation in Malawi
- An introduction and background to the teaching project
- Workplace ethics
- Weekend excursions and free time
Travel Extras (Not Included):
- Weekends are free and you may spend them as you wish. The project coordinators can help arrange day trips and weekend excursions including the following at an additional cost:
- The nearby village of Cape Maclear has a number of small tourist lodges, offering great snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving and craft stalls.
- Liwonde National Park is a popular safari destination and offer game viewing drives, boat rides on the Shire River, and walking tours.
- Zomba Plateau is a good place for walking and enjoying the views, relaxing in the cooler climate, or horseback riding.
- Other highlights that are a bit further away, which you may like to see in your free time, are some of the other impressive National Parks, Salima or the Mulanje Massif. Alternatively, you may wish to just relax by Lake Malawi.