The youth club here on site at Butterfly has been running for 11 years. The purpose built room has many resources such as toys, arts and crafts, a playground and small outdoor theatre space. It also has an area for a pool table but the pool table itself is in disrepair and in need of renovation as is areas of the outdoor play space.
Around 30-60 children can attend from 3-5pm every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, or every day depending on volunteer commitment! They partake in games, sports, arts, crafts, music, sewing, drama, swimming, educational activities, trips, tuition and an English club. The emphasis is on having fun in a relaxed but organised environment.
Some of the children speak English but for those who don’t, a translator might be necessary. Often the children are able to translate for the volunteers. We have just employed Malawian youth workers to run the youth club, and assist volunteers who wish to attend to introduce new games, plays and trips.
Volunteering at the Youth Club
Volunteers need to be enthusiastic, enjoy working with children, appreciate that much learning can be achieved through fun activities, supervise the children regarding health and safety, and bring and share their own skills in a way they feel confident.
It would be welcomed if volunteers could bring useful resources for their chosen skills, sports equipment, paints, paper, craft items, art and games and lots of ideas to entertain for two hour sessions.
Here are some ideas of how volunteers could get involved:
- Drama groups can work either through the youth club or through different local groups like Vizara drama group, a travelling educational group that tackle pressing issues of Malawi. Previous viewings have received a warm welcome when shown at Butterfly on the a small stage by youth club!
- English Teachers are always welcome as there are no shortages of kids who want to improve their language and reading skills.
- Homework clubs are a great way to utilise the space after dark and many of the topics covered in school here are linked the English curriculum so there is great potential for volunteers to hold extra homework clubs, especially close to exam time. The media room can also be used for this.
- Getting a pen pal is a great way to stay in touch with Nkhata Bay once you have left here, and will provide a great insight to both people involved as to the daily challenges each other faces.
- Escorts for trips are always welcome as we would love to be able to show more of the groups that come through Butterfly some of the beautiful and amazing things that are around in Malawi. Previous trips have been to the Malawisaurus Museum but we would love to take a group to Vwaza National Park.
- Run Environmental clubs; plant trees, litter pick, and tech environmental lessons.
- Making resources, as with the nursery school, is always a great way to improve the lessons and activities here and leave behind your ideas.
- Artists can add to the colourful walls at the youth club and also take different workshops with the kids, leaving new skills and techniques.
- Sharing any skill is great for the kids as they love to learn new things, in the past they have learnt to screen print, first aid, mosaics, hula hoop, magic and so much more.
- Organise sports events or swimming lessons as many of the children around cannot swim.
- Take coaching sessions for the football or netball team or organise games both home and away for the kids to take part in.