Gap Year in Malawi

Malawi

If you are keen to volunteer in Malawi, ‘the heart of Africa’, and thrive on having a busy and varied workload, Project Trust offers projects in teaching and youth work. We have placements in and around the city of Blantyre, as well as on the shore of the famous Lake Malawi, which covers 15% of the country’s surface area.

Apart from the legendary Malawian friendliness, what captures you first about this vivid country is its geographical diversity. Slicing through the landscape in a trough formed by the Great Rift Valley is Africa’s third-largest lake: Lake Malawi, a shimmering mass of clear water.

Malawi is a great Volunteer destination in Africa with beautiful scenery, rich culture and some of the world’s happiest and friendliest people. There’s much more to Malawi than its well-known lake, incredible snorkeling, white sand beaches, tranquil bays and relaxing days on the beach. It is however, also one of the poorest countries in Africa and Volunteers will understand how welcome their efforts are.

Project Trust’s placements in Malawi are varied, ranging from quiet rural settings to large provincial towns, from small crèche schools to primary schools. As with other placements, Volunteers living in Malawi will be expected to eat like locals. As a nation of growers, Malawians rely on fresh produce. Meals are often rich in carbohydrates, with nsima, a maize porridge dish being a staple.

While English is widely spoken, the predominant indigenous language is Chichewa, although there are numerous other dialects and indigenous tribes. For our Malawi Volunteers the experience is a profound one which will affect you long after you return home.

There is no one ‘type’ of Project Trust Malawi project and Volunteers fulfil lots of different roles from nursery and primary teaching to social care with vulnerable young people. You could be working alongside local teachers, teaching through various games, songs, dances, art work, or working on the blackboard.

You will also have great opportunities to get involved in lots of extracurricular activities such as weekend tuition or local clubs to share your skills and learn. You may be asked to help out with teaching individuals or contributing to lessons at other local educational centres.

This program needs motivated and enthusiastic Volunteers who are eager to work hard and embrace a simple life in Malawi. Someone who is dedicated, imaginative and creative with the ability to work with young people who are still developing in their early years.

You will be provided with a great deal of responsibility early into the year and need to meet the demanding nature of the young people you will be working with.

Living and working in Malawi, combined with the opportunity of experiencing life without some luxuries, gives Volunteers a unique insight into what life can be like in one of the world’s poorest countries.

During the school holidays you will have plenty of time to explore this varied country. You can visit the lake of stars or climb Mount Livingstonia. There is so much to see and do in Malawi; you definitely won’t be short of places to explore!

Volunteering Overseas can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement with a long term placement to test your abilities a supportive structure. By immersing yourself in a community overseas you’ll learn about cultures, languages, religions, foods and lifestyles completely different to what you’re used to. At the same time you’ll apply your energy, talents and existing skills to engage in an exchange of mutual benefit with the community you’re working in.

Projects available in Malawi

Primary Teaching
Youth Work
Niall Edwards | S. Africa 09/10
Niall Edwards | S. Africa 09/10Country Coordinator for Malawi
Niall is a Returned Volunteer (South Africa 09/10) working with Outward Bound during his year overseas. Following this he went on to work in the outdoor industry across North America and Europe. Niall has spent three years working across Southern and Eastern Africa. He first visited Malawi in 2014, where he was overwhelmed by the Lake of Stars, the challenging but rewarding experience has inspired the warmth of its people and since it gives Volunteers.

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