How to find volunteer opportunities in Malawi

It’s interesting that Malawi isn’t on more people’s lists of top places to volunteer in Africa. We think it’s because many people know very little about the country, and even less about the volunteer opportunities there.

We think if people knew how straightforward the process of applying and how the rewarding the experience can be then everyone would be doing it. With exciting travel opportunities, unique cultural immersion experiences, professional and personal development, and the chance to make a positive impact, what’s not to like?

In this article, we’ll lay out a step-by-step guide to finding volunteer opportunities in Malawi showing you just how easy it is. We’ll also unpack why volunteering in Malawi is so important and the top reasons you should consider doing it. 

Why Volunteering in Malawi is Important

Situated in South Eastern Africa, Malawi is a country many haven’t even heard of. It is a small country and its greatest claim to fame is Lake Malawi, Africa’s largest freshwater lake, and the 3rd largest in the world. 

Despite huge strides in recent years, it is also one of the poorest countries in the world, and many people in Malawi lead incredibly difficult lives. 

Thankfully, there are a host of NGOs, grassroots nonprofits, and community-led initiatives working to build a brighter future here. This means there are all kinds of exciting, innovative, and important development projects where you can get involved and make a difference.

Reasons to Consider Volunteer Opportunities in Malawi

People have all kinds of reasons for choosing to volunteer in Malawi. Some are seeking a gap year adventure. Some want practical work experience and career development. Some simply want a break from the norm and their nine-to-five. 

Volunteer opportunities in Malawi have a lot to offer. Volunteers can benefit personally and professionally while helping to make the world a better place.

There are so many reasons why volunteering in Malawi is a great idea. Here are just a few:

The Impact You Could Make 

There are few places where volunteer work can make the tangible difference in people’s lives it can make in Malawi. Access to fundamental necessities like education, employment, and health care are limited here and many rely on resources like nonprofits and NGOs.

The Exciting Volunteer Opportunities in Malawi

Malawi is a hive of incredible organizations doing important work. From public health to education to sustainable development, whatever volunteer work you’re interested in, you’ll find it here.

The Real African Culture

Known as the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ Malawi is renowned for its welcoming people. As a volunteer, you get to live and work in Malawi, integrate with local communities, and immerse yourself in their ways of life.

The Stunning Natural Beauty 

You can summit Mount Milanje, scuba dive the depths of Lake Malawi, island-hop from Likoma to Chizumulu, or spot the Big Five on Safari. Calling all nature enthusiasts, animal lovers, and adventure seekers! Malawi awaits!

The Experience

Volunteering in Malawi is an incredibly rewarding experience. From personal growth to global awareness to CV boosts, you have so much to gain.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding Volunteer Opportunities in Malawi

1. Self-reflection & skill assessment

The journey starts within! Begin by reflecting on your passions and skills and what you hope to gain from your volunteering experience in Malawi. 

Consider what activities genuinely inspire you, what areas you’d like to learn more about, and what causes are close to your heart. Knowing these things is crucial. It’ll help you align your interests with volunteer opportunities in Malawi.

To guide your search and make it easier to match your skills with relevant volunteer opportunities, ask yourself questions like

  • What kind of work are you interested in?
  • What causes truly inspire and motivate you?
  • In what areas do you possess specific skills or expertise?
  • In what areas would you like to learn more?
  • How can you best contribute to a project?

2. Research volunteer opportunities in Malawi

This can be one of the most time-consuming steps in the process. There are a lot of great volunteer opportunities in Malawi, but not all of them will be easy to find. 

The only thing to be done is to dive headfirst into the ocean of volunteering options in Malawi. Traipse through search pages, explore websites, and gather a list of viable opportunities. As well as the volunteer opportunities available, its a good idea to check an organization’s mission statements and ongoing projects to  ensure a strong alignment with your values and goals.

Our advice is to open a favourites tab on your browser, search the internet in 15-minute sessions, and add to a list of organizations and opportunities over the course of a week or two. This gives you plenty of time to think over options and find one that feels right.

3. Reach out for advice

Now that you have an idea of what you’re after and what’s out there, it’s a valuable point to reach out for advice.

It can be useful to turn to school teachers, university professors, or your employer for guidance on what professional development to look for. It’s also a good idea to reach out to potential host organizations to find out more about their volunteer opportunities. If nothing else, talk things over with friends or family, to get things clear in your head. 

Personal recommendations can provide a unique perspective and lead you to trustworthy organizations with impactful programs. You might even want to try local meetups or online forums related to volunteering to expand your network and gather more recommendations.

4. Apply and interview

Now, the nerve-racking part. You’ve found the volunteer opportunities in Malawi you like, now it’s time to see which you’ll be accepted for.

Most nonprofits in Malawi have a fairly straightforward application process for volunteers. You will need a brief resume explaining past work and volunteering experience, and perhaps a short letter detailing why you’ve applied. Focus on showcasing not only your skills but also your genuine passion for your chosen cause.

If there is an interview it will likely be more of an informal getting-to-know-each-other kind of interview. Remember this is your opportunity to ask any outstanding questions you might have about volunteering. Be sure to prepare a few questions of your own to ask the organization.

5. Prepare for your trip

Congratulations on securing a volunteer opportunity! Now, shift your focus to preparing for your trip. 

Research visa requirements, healthcare recommendations, and local customs. Create a detailed checklist for your trip, including essential documents, vaccinations, and necessary items for your specific volunteer program.

Start Your Search for Volunteer Opportunities in Malawi!

This guide is designed to not only inform but also inspire. We hope to make the process of finding and embarking on volunteer opportunities in Malawi as straightforward as possible. That way, you can focus on the exciting, rewarding experience ahead. 

If this article has sparked your interest, then look through Butterfly Space opportunities as part of your search. Firstly you could spare yourself the most time-consuming parts of your search since you’ve already found our website. Moreover, in operation for over twenty years, Butterfly has a well-seasoned team of dedicated professionals and a proven track record.

Browse through our available volunteer experiences

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