Feel part of the community and experience the hospitality and culture of the friendly community
Assist with and gain valuable experience in the provision of primary medical care
Provide basic care health education to disadvantaged children and communities
Be part of a rewarding and sustainable project
Be welcomed as part of the community and help them to become more self-sufficient
Provide training to local volunteers, as part of a vital and sustainable community home-based care programme
Help create awareness of and help to reduce the incidence of epidemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria
You don't need to be a qualified doctor or nurse for this project, volunteers with different levels of caring experience and backgrounds are all welcome – people with experience in an environment where first aid and care is delivered in the field and/or training and providing primary and palliative care.
However, only medical professionals and medical students may be registered with Medical or Nursing Council to assist at a local rural hospital as part of their programme (the registration fee is USD 100). The hospital placement is most relevant to medical students, wishing to gain some additional hospital experience during their programme or as part of their elective - specifically nurses wishing to spend some of their time in a hospital environment, or midwives on a maternity ward. We recommend 6 weeks minimum for qualified nurses/midwives who wish to register (due to the additional 1 week orientation involved), but nurses also find the outreach areas particularly rewarding.
On your first day at the project you will get a project briefing and a village tour, you start work on Wednesday.
Volunteer tasks will be dependent on experience, interests and the greatest need at the time. There are various areas where volunteers’ help is needed.
Based on a government curriculum and supported by our experienced translators, volunteers will plan and run training sessions to groups of local volunteers on home-based care topics, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, personal hygiene, drug administration, recording information, basic first aid, wound care, bed bathing, infection prevention, sexual health awareness, nutrition and digestion, TB and rehabilitation. Furthermore, you will carry out home visits to chronically ill patients. These visits are a valuable part of the training for the local volunteers to become home-based care providers.
Volunteers will be involved in cleaning wounds, basic dressing and bandaging referring patients to hospital for more serious wounds, or if further treatment or antibiotics are required. This is of great importance in areas where wounds would otherwise go unattended, often resulting in serious infections.
Help create and increase the awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDS, in order to educate local communities about prevention and treatment. Volunteers will also provide support and counselling through community groups for those living with HIV/AIDS. This may also include nutritional advice and information about other related diseases. Furthermore, volunteers will help encourage and assist with drama workshops and presentations by those living with HIV/AIDS to the communities in surrounding villages.
Rural Community Hospital:
This part of the project work is suited for volunteers with previous medical experience, medical professionals, or medical students, as the centre provides primary medical care and treatment. The centre we work in has several departments in which volunteers with relevant experience can assist, including outpatients, a female ward, a male ward, a maternity ward, a nutrition unit, a laboratory, a pharmacy and basic dental treatment.
Qualified volunteers will assist the local nurses and doctors in their daily duties. This may include midwifery, ward rounds, cleaning and dressing wounds, minor medical procedures, etc. Certain lab technician experience is also available. This may include carrying out vital tests, such as haemoglobin, malaria, syphilis and pregnancy. Less experienced medical students will have the opportunity to shadow local nurses or doctors and assist with more administrative duties, but will gain a valuable insight into medical care and treatment of tropical and infectious diseases in a developing country.
Malaria Prevention & Awareness:
This part of the project includes assisting with malaria prevention techniques, providing education and creating awareness to help minimise the incidence rate. Furthermore, you will be conducting valuable malaria data collection and distribute mosquito nets and spray to the local homes. Unfortunately, this initiative comes with high material costs. This means that this part of the project is not ongoing and involvement is occasional, as it is dependent on available funding. If you would like to raise funds or make a donation to this specific program, it will be gratefully received.
Nurseries for Orphan & Vulnerable Children:
This part of the project takes place in the mornings and is suitable for volunteers with little medical experience, or anyone with an interest in pre-school education and child care. Volunteers can get involved with pre-school teaching to prepare the children for their education ahead. Furthermore, by helping the local carers improve their English and teaching skills, volunteers will help promote the importance of health and nutrition, including assisting with our feeding scheme.
In your free time, you can relax at the volunteer house, swim in the sparkling waters of Lake Malawi and explore the local area. Weekend trips can also be organised by the project staff.
- Liwonde National Park offers a variety of wildlife and large herds of elephant, where you can enjoy the combination of a vehicle safari, walking safari and boat safari in search of the numerous hippo in the rivers.
- Cape Maclear, a popular tourist village at the edge of the lake. Enjoy snorkelling, boat rides on Lake Malawi, exploring the craft stalls and sunbathing on the beach during the day. In the evening there are a couple of lively bars to let your hair down.
- Zomba Plateau, is a cool forest where you can relax, take in the great views, trek and even go horseback riding if you wish.
Although organised weekend excursions are not included in the program price, we do recommend doing a couple of these groups trips during your stay. This way you will be able to see a little more and make the most of your time in Malawi.
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.