Volunteer with Children in Mzuzu, Malawi

Mzuzu, Malawi Children & Youth Development

Program

Description

Located in Mzuzu, the Child Development and support Organization or Chideso is an organization focused on children’s rights and skills development through an array of support projects. Founded in 2007, this organization is community run with an emphasis to provide essential services to surrounding areas. These include early childhood education (pre-school), vocational training skills to adults, sporting activities, HIV/AIDS education, and prevention.

Particular focus is on those within the Masasa community, a community burdened with several issues, including extreme poverty, child neglect, low life expectancy and unemployment. Any income generated comes from small clothing and agricultural businesses or are security guards, cleaners or domestic workers.

Your purpose with Chideso is to ensure families, stakeholders, and citizens are supported, becoming self-reliant and able to become productive contributors to society. People in this struggling community need a boost in self-worth so they can become adaptable and develop various skills to sustain their families and businesses. There is a great need for assistance to help translate these skills to residents, and your presence will make a great difference in the lives of so many. Plus, you can also be a great help by contributing any materials that will contribute to the project’s sustenance such as pens, stationery, toys, clothing, sporting equipment and any financial contribution. Your work may mainly involve teaching and supervision, but you will learn so much working on this amazing project!

Impact

With so many children lacking guidance and adults lacking basic skills in the Masasa community, your role with this project takes on great meaning. To have an outlet where people can learn how to provide and maintain is why organizations such as Chideso exist and it could not be possible without volunteering. Volunteers are part of the backbone that has made Chideso a reliable hub for education in the area. Help people in need stand on their own two through spreading knowledge in schools, offering income-generating ideas and protect them from society’s evils. You also get to interact with new cultures and learn a thing or two about this southern African nation!

Field conditions

You will work on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time while you will be free on weekends. However, some projects might start earlier and hours could change during summertime due to extreme heat.

You will be called on to assist in a variety of ways during your stay. You will be helping to develop new projects and make proposals as well as monitor and evaluate existing projects. You will also be assisting in teaching a set of pre-school students, aged two to five years old, as well as teaching at a nursery and a primary school. Furthermore, you will be teaching children and adults about computer literacy as well as offering life skills education and HIV/AIDS education to secondary school students.

Arrival and orientation

You can arrive either via Lilongwe International Airport, by bus after staying at an accommodations of your choice or through Tanzania. Each pickup option comes at a cost, with airport pick-up costing US$200, though that cost can be split if you come with other volunteers.

Your Khaya volunteer coordinator, Justin Banda, will pick you up, welcome you and take you to your accommodations where you will be shown around. After a good rest, you will be prepared for your project, be given a run-down of Mzuzu and surrounding areas while also receiving a local SIM card. Once you have been given a thorough explanation of what is expected of you during your time in Mzuzu, you will comment project duties.

Your stay

Accommodation

  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

You will be staying with a selected host family within walking distance of Chideso headquarters, so you will have ease of access to and from work. One of the host family accommodations, has two bedrooms, each equipped with up to three beds. You will also have a private bathroom to use with a western-style toilet and a shower with warm water. There is also a lounge with TV to kick your feet up, a dining room area and a large garden for all you plant lovers.

The alternate accommodations are located around the corner and hosts up to four volunteers at a time. This home has two single beds, bathroom, kitchen, dining room area, lounge and mosquito nets to keep those pesky insects from biting you when you least expect it. In each case, depending on how busy things are, get ready to put on your best face and share a room with one or more of your fellow volunteers. Plus, males and females will have separate rooms.

As for meals, you will be exposed to new cuisines and different styles of food that you are not used to at home. But you are encouraged to try as much Malawian cuisine as possible and also take part in cooking certain meals. You may just have one or two new recipes to add to your collection and be able to brag to your friends about your newly-acquired cooking skills. Each day, you will be served with three meals. Breakfast will consist of porridge or bread with tea or coffee. Lunch and dinner are cooked meals and will feature any of rice, pasta, ‘nsima’ (porridge with maize meal), fish, vegetable, and meat. You are free to buy and cook your own food. But, getting a literal taste of a new culture could open your eyes to exciting new experiences you can tell your friends and family about.

Location

Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house or with a host family.

Cost

from $252 USDper week

from $252 USDper week

Costs...

What’s included

  • Direct donation to the project’s needs

  • 3 basic meals a day

  • Volunteer coordinator available 24/7

  • Accommodations with host family

  • Information and assistance before departure

What’s not included

  • Insurance

  • Airfare

  • Private luxuries (snacks, cool drinks, alcohol, etc.)

  • Airport transfers ($200, one way)

  • Offer of weekend trips and outings (extra costs apply)

Start dates

Starting your volunteer work is on Mondays only, if you will be arriving before the Monday we gladly assist with your pick up and extra days will be charged accordingly. Participation is per full weeks only and the project will be closed for about 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year’s.

Established in 2005, Khaya Volunteer Projects offers unique and affordable volunteer and gap year projects in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zanzibar. Khaya projects run the gamut of volunteer interests with project areas including Children; Communities; Sports Development; Healthcare; Wildlife and Conservation; and Education projects. A common thread running through all Khaya projects is a commitment to ethical volunteering. They work to ensure that your volunteering efforts and your financial contributions are used in the best way possible. In alignment with that goal, Khaya, with its base and several offices in Africa, can and does assist its local partners and projects in Southern and Eastern Africa with keeping the focus on responsible and ethical volunteering.

Their mission is simple but resonant:

“...we provide volunteering opportunities for international travellers that are both unique and as affordable as possible with high standards of service and facilities. Needless to say, we also prioritise our selected volunteer projects’ needs in ways that benefit both project and you, the volunteer.”

Honest pricing, crystal clear information, timely communication, and great service are all hallmarks of how they run a successful organization. True to the meaning of “Khaya” in several African languages, Khaya Volunteers makes sure its volunteers feel secure, well informed, and that they belong to the project to which they commit. Khaya believes that if you join on of their volunteering projects, you’ll have an African experience you’ll never forget.

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