Lucy Bromley volunteered for us in Malawi a few years ago. Her description of working with the Landirani Trust (now called African Vision Malawi in the UK) is however as accurate now as it was then!
Volunteering for Landirani…. Lucy Bromley’s volunteering experience
Before I left I was a mess of emotions. Nervous one moment, then bouncing of the walls excited the next. The plane ride felt like the longest hours of my life!
All of that emotion was calmed when I was greeted (warmly of course) with a hug at the airport from Sarah and Gift.
Probably the most important thing I can tell you about Landirani are the people. Firstly there is the team. There are certainly no slackers in Landirani! Every single person involved is dedicated and passionately committed to the work that they do. For a volunteer arriving that is one of the first things you notice. Before I’d even been in Malawi for 10 minutes we were in a hospital visiting a young woman who Sarah, the country manager, had brought in to the hospital for treatment on burns. Everyone in the team gives 110% and by the end of it, you do too without even realizing it.
Along with the commitment you see, you will feel a typically warm Malawian welcome. Working with Sarah, Gift, Jack, Fixon, Kasengwa, Thomas, Chris and many others you are not treated as a volunteer, you are treated as a friend. I went from being a shy new arrival to “Chikondi”- my Malawian name- and being taught Chichewa within a couple of days. The team you meet here make you want to return over and over again not just for the great work they do, but to also see them!
It isn’t just the team that is amazing though. It’s the people you get to work with in the communities that are as equally welcoming and warm.
With Landirani you are lucky enough to experience volunteering in rural communities, where the work is not only truly and desperately needed, but wanted. The connections I made with people in the field stay with me to this day, and I treasure the time I got to work with them.
Landirani provided me not only the amazing experience to work on a project I was passionate about, but also the opportunity to get involved with a team who honestly, are a bit like a family. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to go out and work with them, and have come away with not only Malawi in my heart, but also Landirani.