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Volunteer Programme

We have a volunteer programme in Malawi, and volunteers are also vital to our fundraising and administration work in the UK. In fact, we are proud that all of our staff in the UK are volunteers, meaning that more of our donors money can go to directly support orphans and vulnerable people in rural Malawi.

Here you can get all the information on our Malawi Volunteer Programme.

Why volunteer and do you have the skills?

We encourage our community to help themselves wherever possible, but Malawi is still a ‘Developing Country’ and some skills are needed to support our vision of a ‘self-sufficient community’. You may have those skills and help them on their journey to sustainability!

We work in a diverse area of projects as we have had to look holistically at supporting our area through Education, Health, Water & Sanitation and Self-sufficiency. Do you have knowledge in Education, Health, Water & Sanitation, Sustainability, Permaculture or Community Development?

We like to use volunteers to do research, programme proposals, evaluations, implementation and training up others, along with raising funds for specific projects that are close to their heart. You can make a difference to your own life, while making a difference to others!


  1. Complete the registration form and payment and show your project interest and skills
  2. Discuss your application and potential dates with our team in the UK
  3. Prepare for your trip (book flights, get vaccinations, get insurance, plan activities, raise funds, pack)
  4. Go to Malawi and have an experience of a lifetime by making a difference to a community!
  5. Complete our Volunteer evaluation, so we can make the most of future volunteers’ time and skills in making a difference.

Literacy session in the Library
Literacy session in the Library

Downloadable information:

Click here for the volunteering information and costs (including all the information on this page). Please note: accommodation at Sam’s Village and the Landirani Trust office is planned for completion in 2016.

Click here for the volunteer application registration form.

Click here for the volunteer cost calculator Excel file.

You can email us at info@africanvision.org.uk or our phone number in the UK is 020 8287 8169.

You can also read Lucy Bromley’s account of volunteering for African Vision Malawi.

Volunteer Programme Costs:

Registration fee – £100. This registration is non-refundable and paid when you are registering for your placement. It covers administration costs such as putting together the Volunteer Contract and Activity Plan. If you volunteer for African Vision Malawi a subsequent time, this registration fee does not have to be paid again.

£500 donation to projects of AVM – this covers supporting your stay in country with arranging accommodation, project organisation, Airport transfers, transport to and from projects, in-country staff support, administration and as much is put direct into the projects making a difference to our community. We will endeavour to put this direct into the project you are involved with, so you are able to see where it has most impact. £500 is for up to 3 weeks, subsequent weeks after this time will be an additional £50 per week. Therefore a 2 month Volunteer trip would be a total of £750.

Other costs:

You are expected to organise and pay for your flight to Lilongwe, Malawi. You are also responsible for your travel and health insurance, vaccinations, visas (\$75 on entry), anti-malarial medication, food, additional trips to your AVM volunteering and extra spending money.

How much are flights?

It depends on the airline you choose, time of year you travel and what days you depart/arrive on. The cheapest flights will be around £590 but can rise over £1,000. It is best to look at www.skyscanner.net to get comparisons before booking. The choices are with Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and South African Airlines. We are very happy to advise you.

Staying at Sam’s Village (rural area) costs £10 per day plus £5 (breakfast/dinner). Lunch is provided for free while working on projects, but not at weekends– Besides working on your set project you are expected to support Sam’s Village by helping with activities such as permaculture, cleaning, cooking etc.

What is it like staying at Sam’s Village?

It is in a rural area and basic needs are met with water from a borehole, solar lighting and compost toilets. The accommodation is a variety of sustainably built dwellings, from large block accommodation of up to 10 people, to twin roomed accommodation. Some have en-suite washrooms and others have shared ablution blocks. Depending on what Training courses are run at that time, depends on what accommodation will be available. All accommodation will be completed by end of 2016.

The Village is self-sustaining and your money goes into supporting the maintenance and running of the Village. It is a ‘community’ and you will be included in activities which include meals together, talks and evening games and music sessions. You are surrounded by rural villages and we ask you to respect local people, their traditions and culture and that you ask one of our team if you are not sure how to treat a situation. Please never give anything to anyone and give any donation to our team to distribute to the neediest people, otherwise we will be encouraging a begging culture and we believe in a ‘hand up’ and not ‘hand out’. You will be given an orientation when you arrive. Please refer to ‘Volunteer Conduct’.

Staying in Lilongwe (Capital City) costs:

Mabuya Camp: Over lander camp with restaurant, bar, self-cooking, swimming pool, internet facilities https://mabuyacamp.com/ Shared dorm – £8 ($10) per night Twin A frame/chalet – £20 ($30) per night En-suite double room – £30 (\$45) per night Typical costs of meals range from £2 – £5

The Landirani Trust office volunteers’ accommodation: (Due for completion in 2016) A simple wooden cabin built above our secure container with communal compost toilets, wash area and kitchen. Costs £10 per day and is self-catering. These funds go back into maintaining the accommodation and surrounding permaculture gardens.

What do I need to pack?

There is a list of useful items to bring with you in your Volunteer pack, such as head torch, solar light, sun cream, energy tablets etc. Please read this carefully. Most flights allow 2 bags of 23kg, we ask if you can donate one of those bags for donations. This can be packed by yourself with suggested donations by us, or we can get a bag to you, leaving it unopened with a list of packed items.

Seeing other parts of Malawi

We will organise a trip to the beautiful Lake Malawi, over a weekend which will cost between £30 per day and £60 per day depending on your choice of accommodation/food. Fuel is £50 which is shared between the amounts of people travelling. You are welcome to add on time to the end of your volunteering to travel and we are happy to recommend places to go.

It is important to read the Staff Handbook and Volunteer Pack, which will give you a background about the Charity and also what is expected of your Code and Conduct in Malawi, as the culture is different to ours and once you are in country you not only represent yourself, but the charity and British culture. Malawians are very polite, respectful with ‘old fashioned values’ which include dressing appropriately in the rural area.

Example volunteer costs

Example volunteer costs
Example volunteer costs

The above is an indicative table – Please use the volunteer calculator excel file to do your own calculations.

You can email us at info@africanvision.org.uk or our phone number in the UK is 020 8287 8169.

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