Malawi is a beautiful country bordering Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia. The people are extremely welcoming and the Mulanje Mountains and Lake Malawi attract adventure seekers from around the world. Slow economic growth means that education is greatly valued and the help of Lattitude Volunteers is much appreciated.
Placements are located throughout Malawi, either in rural areas or on the outskirts of small town, click here to view a map.
Is It For Me?
If you are interested in really contributing to a community through teaching, then Malawi is for you. In schools you may help students to improve their English skills as well as teach subjects such as history, maths, science and art. Some placements involve an element of community work, as you could also teach at a school attached to an orphanage or work with children with disabilities. Also on offer are limited placements in on-going conservation projects.
These are within schools attached to orphanages, or for children with hearing impairments or severe disabilities, as well as at a local hospital. In addition to teaching a range of subjects, volunteers assist within the institutions and provide extra support and assistance as required.
These placements offer the volunteer a chance to get really stuck in with helping with the environment in areas throughout Malawi. Placements offer a wide variety of activities regarding environment conservation and sustainability.
These can be at schools or within institutions that support the community. The official language in Malawi is English, however many students only have basic English skills. Volunteers teach a range of subjects such as english, maths, history, geography, drama and sport with limited resources and teaching aids. There is generally a curriculum to follow and from which lesson plans can be developed. Most students work very hard and any extra support is greatly appreciated.
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Accommodation And Food
Volunteers are allocated a house or nearby accommodation on the school campus, or they will live with a host family. Most accommodation is quite basic with some furniture and a small amount of cooking equipment. Not all accommodation will have electricity or running water, but it will be of the same standard as the houses lived in by the staff.
Some food is supplied but volunteers should bear in mind that they are living within poor communities and may need to supplement their diet with extra food which they purchase and prepare themselves.
Need To Know
- Pre-departure Briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
- On Arrival - volunteers attend an orientation course before placements commence. There is a Special Training Course for environmental placements.
- Teaching Skills Course – this course is organised by Lattitude and undertaken in Palmerston North at the volunteers’ own expense prior to departure.
- Other Important Information - Communications can be spotty at times. Internet and mobile phone services can be sporadic but are available in most areas. Patience is sometimes necessary.
- We find out about each volunteers strengths, skills and interests through an in-depth interview which helps us select the right people as well as identifying what they are hoping to achieve while away and helps us select the right people to be Lattitude volunteers
- A second interview with our In Country Programme Manager (often via Skype) helps match them to a placement perfect for them.
- Once you have been accepted by the in Country Programme Manager you will be looked after by a specialised Volunteer Coordinator in our NZ office who assists with all preparations, support with logistics such as flights and visas, and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a predeparture briefing to meet other volunteers, Lattitude staff, other professionals such as our travel agent, travel doctors and insurance company representatives as well as hearing from returned volunteers, learning in person about the expectations and exciting prospects that lie ahead.
- Volunteers are seen off at the airport, where they travel together to their destination countries
- All volunteers sign our Term and Conditions to ensure that Lattitude's expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
- Volunteers attend a group orientation upon arrival in-country and, where needed, undertake training such as a local language or teaching skills course.
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from the Lattitude office in New Zealand.
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- Our debriefing session will include discussions from industry professionals regarding the identification and articulation of the new skills the volunteer has invariably acquired during his/her placement, and how to use these new skills to get ahead.
- We are always happy to supply written and verbal references to our successful volunteers upon return home, to aid in applications to higher education or the workforce.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in Malawi in 2017 and a full explanation of costs can be found here:
|Lattitude fees (exact costs)|
|Lattitude Application Fee||$150|
|Lattitude Contribution Fee||$3,900|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$250|
|Lattitude Teaching Skills Course||$350|
|You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs)|
|Return Airfares (approx cost of group flight)||$3,000 - $3,800|
|Travel Insurance (6 months)||$680|
|Medical examination||$50 - $200|
|Travel Doctor Consultation & Immunisations||$0 - $1,000|
|Total cost (approximate)
||$8,560 - $10,510|
The main opportunity for travel will be during the school holidays and at the end of your placement. Often touted as the “warm heart of Africa”, Malawi’s landscape is as spectacular as it is diverse and its people are warm and welcoming. Travel in Malawi is a wonderful experience. Swim, dive and kayak in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Malawi, hike the peaks of Mount Mulanje, and get up close to the wildlife on a walking safari in the beautiful Liwonde and Nyika National Parks. A compact country, Malawi is easy to travel around.
Languages: English and Chichewa
Population: 14 million
Time Zone: Minus 11hours from time in Auckland (UTC/GMT+2 hours) minus 12 hours
Climate: Malawi's temperatures are moderated by altitude. Average temperatures range from 30°C in November to low 20s°C in July.
Currency: Malawian Kwacha
“I spent the first seven months of this year in Malawi working in a primary and secondary school, helping out at the kindergarten as well as the hospital and having a wonderful time with my host family. They have taken me on as an additional member of the family and I now consider them to be my Malawian parents and siblings.”Nicole Plumb, Teacher, All Saints Secondary School, Kasungu