What You Can Do
We offer a number of volunteer opportunities where you can lend a helping hand and learn about the workings of a grassroots NGO. Programs will be tailored to suit the volunteer’s skills.
Invest in a child’s future; come and volunteer as a teacher. Offer your help as a teaching volunteer and come and assist in a pre-school, primary or secondary school. Depending on your experience, you may be asked to teach English, Maths, Sports, Drama, History or Geography. Your caring input will be a great help and much appreciated as schools are often under staffed and lack resources. Experienced teachers are particularly welcome. Volunteering as a teacher depends on the academic school calendar – so please contact us for more details.
Volunteers will assist program staff with training and awareness activities on issues such as: water, sanitation and hygiene, sexual health, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, child marriage prevention and youth development. The work will depend on what activities are being run at the time the volunteer visits but may include the following: working with community committees to raise awareness, assisting with training, creating educational material and distributing materials.
Work in partnership with our farm clubs to assist with agricultural activities and provide training in improved farming techniques and compost making. Particular help is required with teaching business and entrepreneurial skills such as business planning, budgeting and marketing. Have a chance to experience what life is like for subsistence farmers in Malawi.
As a small NGO, we are always in need of an extra pair of hands in the office! Volunteers can help with writing and editing funding proposals, researching and carrying out fundraising activities, assisting with online marketing, updating social media and website design. Skilled photographers or film makers can contribute by making promotional materials for our NGO.
If you are qualified in the health, agricultural or international development sector, please let us know, as we can design a volunteer package to utilise your particular skills.
The duration it depends according to volunteer plans. But we encourage the volunteer to let us know the during he/she is willing to be with us in Malawi.
Cost, Food and Accommodation
Volunteers can choose from two types of accommodation:
• Home Stay $35 per wk- You can stay with a host family in a village which is a great opportunity to experience the unique culture of Malawi. When staying with a host, we will ensure you are safe and well looked after. However, facilities are basic and you would be expected to use local toilets and bucket showers. Your food will be prepared by the family and you will receive 3 meals a day.
• Lodge $75 per wk - You can stay in a lodge in Chikwawa and get a lift on a bicycle to your volunteering location each day. You will have a flush toilet and shower. You will receive three meals a day, mostly in the restaurant; some meals will be prepared on site where you are volunteering.
DIN Malawi is requesting volunteers to assist in promoting our projects and activities, assisting in fundraising in interested project/activities.
Development Initiative Network (DIN) is a local non-profit organization currently working in the Lower Shire southern region of Malawi. DIN was established in February 2012 to respond to the needs and challenges affecting vulnerable communities in Chikwawa and Nsanje. We believe, for change to be effective and sustainable development to materialize, communities need to be the drivers of the process. Our aim is to empower a network of community groups and organizations and ensure they have access to adequate resources and training in order to tackle poverty. Partnering with local, international and government organizations, our programs focus on improving water, sanitation and healthcare, providing access to good quality education and community awareness and addressing food insecurities through rural agricultural development, while tackling climate change.
Come and volunteer with Development Initiative Network (DIN) and have a life changing experience, while making a difference in the lives of others! We welcome volunteers to assist with our education, water and sanitation, gender equality, HIV/AIDS and agricultural projects and also require help with marketing and fundraising. Come and experience traditional Malawian life, immerse yourself in the culture and gain an insight into the problems facing people living in poverty.
We are looking for self motivated, enthusiastic and hard working individuals, over the age of 18, who are able to work on their own initiative as well as part of a team. As you will be volunteering directly with our NGO, there is no middle man or administration costs. We are proud to offer an affordable volunteer program where your money goes straight to the projects and the community in which you will stay.
About Malawi and the Lower Shire
Described as “The Warm Heart of Africa”, Malawi is a great destination for volunteers – it has beautiful scenery, a stunning lake with world class snorkelling and a range of wildlife safaris and national parks to explore.
Unfortunately, Malawi is also one of the poorest countries in the world; poverty and inequality are widespread. According to the World Bank, over half of the population is poor, while one quarter lives in extreme poverty. The majority of the poor are locked in low productivity subsistence farming. Child mortality is a problem, with many children not making it to their fifth birthday, while life expectancy is only 58. (WHO 2011)
The Lower Shire, where DIN is based, is in the south of Malawi and one of the poorest regions. Subsistence farmers struggle to feed their families because of prolonged dry spells, rainfall shortages and flooding. Add to this a lack of access to adequate education, water and sanitation, high HIV/AIDS rates, gender equality and gender-based violence and you can see that there are many areas of need for volunteers in the Lower Shire.
$5USD per day | $35USD per week |Costs do not include Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Spending Money, Pre-Departure-Orientation, 2-Meals-per-Day, 1-Meal-per-Day, Volunteer-Hostel, Local-Transport, Airport-Pickup-and-Drop-Off, Internet
Why Volunteer with DIN
“If you ever think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!” — Wendy Lesko
There are many reasons to volunteer with DIN including the following:
• It will be an unforgettable experience - you will get to engage in Malawian life, learn more about the culture, share your knowledge and get to know and learn from the locals.
• As a relatively new local NGO, DIN lacks the resources of other larger charities. As a small organization, it is more difficult for us to receive international funding - so we rely on the assistance and funds from our volunteer programs.
• We are more affordable than other international volunteering organizations as there is no middle man. This means there is no administration fee and your money will go to cover your food, accommodation and a small contribution to the running of the project.
• The Lower Shire is one of the poorest places in Malawi and currently does not receive many international volunteers. Therefore, there is great need in many of the communities and volunteers have the opportunity to make a real difference.
• Volunteering can be a great way to build confidence, develop personally, learn new skill or even just develop old ones. It looks good on your CV and may give you something interesting to talk about in a job interview.
What to Bring
This will vary from person to person for personal items, but we do recommend you bring the following: travel insurance details, personal medications, insect repellent and sun cream. Please bring culturally appropriate clothes (women should wear dresses, skirts and trousers below the knee and not too tight) and clothes with light material, as it can get very hot in Chikwawa. However, between April and June it can be a bit cooler.