Although Nkhata Bay is already an established town on the tourist map, Alice and Josie wanted to encourage a different type of visitor to Butterfly and while tourists are welcomed, one of Butterfly’s main goals from the start has been to attract longer-term visitors to Nkhata Bay and provide them with the resources and opportunities to get involved in positive projects within the community.
As well as the many Butterfly Projects volunteers can get involved in, there are also other opportunities such as linking with local schools and community groups. People staying longer could potentially link up with Government Departments and work alongside somebody to mentor them. Even if you feel you have other skills to offer, whether you are a whizz at IT or can help with Social Networking, Marketing, PR or even Building Maintenance around the site or run a carpentry workshop, then Alice and Josie are ready to incorporate your skills. Volunteers are encouraged to get involved in areas they have skills and passion in and after more than 10 years living in Nkhata Bay, Alice and Josie have a good understanding of what is going on in the area and feel they can get the volunteers to the place they want to be. There are also limited funds available if you have your own ideas or motivation to ensure you can get involved. Volunteers need a strong level of English as a first or second language as it makes things a lot easier here at Butterfly but any other spoken languages are always an advantage to teach others about your culture.
The best recommendation is that volunteers stay for at least a month (although a shorter time will be greatly considered) as this will maximise your experience and contribution. Alice and Josie will happily accept any volunteer wishing to come to Butterfly for any amount of time. There have been past volunteers that have stayed from a week to a year!
The Volunteer Package pays for the first month’s dormitory accommodation, a food allowance covering at least two meals and of course laundry (please contact us if you can only stay a few weeks). During this time volunteers will receive orientation on the projects and their interests for volunteering to immerse themselves into local Malawian life. Alice and Josie offer a very flexible deal and people can get involved in one or more of the projects if they so wish. After the initial orientation they do expect a degree of independence from the volunteers and for you to be able to work from your own initiative. They normally have necessary materials for people to carry out their projects, but if there is something specific you want to do, then you may be better bringing some materials (please see our Wish List), or fundraise, before you come. The staff at Butterfly can provide local language lessons in Chi Tonga or Chichewa. Communication is central to the vision here at Butterfly and being able to greet and converse a little will be useful for everybody’s stay in Nkhata Bay.
There is also a lot going on in Nkhata Bay to keep our volunteers entertained when they aren’t volunteering. There are local boat trips to the famous cliff jumping spots just 10 minutes boat ride away, to organised BBQs, or even imagine some of the world’s best fresh water scuba diving at Aqua Africa based in the town. Simply relax on Butterfly’s beach with a nice cold ‘green’ beer and sit back to watch one of the daily glorious sunsets – Nkhata Bay itself is without a doubt paradise. All this makes it one of the best Volunteer community projects in Africa.
Butterfly is immersing itself to linking up with more volunteer organizations to increase awareness for the many projects they are involved in. Obviously Butterfly would like to only advertise on the sites that do not make additional charges to the volunteer. Unfortunately there are few and far between, meaning there may well be a small nominal administration fee. This is sometimes unavoidable, and Butterfly formerly apologises for any inconvenience caused. Signing up in our Get Involved section will eliminate any additional costs.