Butterfly Space has been built to create a positive effect upon the surrounding community, and as such they have encouraged activities and projects which are providing long lasting experiences and opportunities. At the same time they have brought a warm and homely environment for travelers who wish to really immerse themselves into Malawian culture. Butterfly has become a place where everyone is welcomed.
Around the grounds there are many projects geared towards the community, all of which are completely free of charge and non-profit. Josie has concentrated on the following projects which help the community in using different types of media and with her passion for permaculture is also highlighted in the school gardens project. The Information and Internet Centre opened in 2009 is full most days for the locals to research for educational purposes. The Media Centre attracts some budding journalists with a lot of equipment including video cameras and voice recorders which are available for the community to make use of. The small recording room at the back is often full with the local youth practicing their skills and making original music. A new initiative includes the project of setting up Nkhata Bay’s first Radio Station. Having already been training youth in the area for journalism and recording and recently gaining a broadcasting license, the next job is to get the equipment and get on air. From there the potential for development and education is massive!
There are also loads of weekly groups coming through Butterfly from the surrounding community which are run by Alice. The ideas for her projects have grown in numbers over the years and are very successful. These include The Disabled Group, to the FAAWN HIV Group which educates the many people with HIV in the area to have a healthier life style in terms of nutrition, and the Women’s Groups which are busy tailoring, knitting, providing massage and selling their delicious home made peanut butter. Youth Club has been running for years, which is busy most afternoons with different age groups and different activities going on. A playground built at the top provides the local kids with constant fun and a small stage provides the opportunity should anyone want to stage a play.
Weekly films and TED talks are fun as well as informative by introducing new educational documentaries from around the globe, and the sports teams are always welcome to practice on site when the local pitch is in use. With many guitars and drums placed around Butterfly, the locals often teach the volunteers a thing or two about Malawian music and rhythm!
As you can imagine all these activities mean that Butterfly is a bustling community lodge, where Alice and Josie are certainly making a difference to Nkhata Bay. They have made sure the atmosphere is homely and friendly which is bringing more of the community together.