Why Volunteer

There are so many reasons to volunteer with us. Everyone has amazing talents that can be shared with others. We want to help you shine and share your skills with other people in Malawi to help change and save lives. We believe volunteering has the power to make real differences not only in the country you visit but to help create a more connected, informed and empowered world.

Volunteering is rewarding, life changing and fun. It gives you the chance to make a positive change in the world, learn valuable new skills, gain knowledge and practical experience of project management. The experience of volunteering enhances your life whilst on your trip and also afterwards in adding value on your C.V. It is also a great opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and learn about traditions, practices and lifestyles. Volunteering is a two way process; we want you to love Malawi and the people you meet as well as sharing your skills.

Amazing friendships are also made as a volunteer. Love Support Unite is a small charity and we want our volunteers to be part of our charity family. Your contribution is so important to us. We run a Volunteer Ambassador scheme so that connections made whilst volunteering develop into the future. We also offer you the opportunity to become a volunteer team leader helping to project manage and inspire others.

We encourage groups to come and volunteer together. Join up with your friends or colleagues to share a life-changing trip to Malawi.

Volunteer and see the change you can make in the world.

Why Volunteer With Love Support Unite?

We are Love

We are working towards a world where every community is self-sufficient. We are changing lives with our work.

We believe that every child in the world should have the opportunity to succeed at whatever they choose. We know that with little access to education, health care or training nothing will ever change for the better. We are working closely with local communities and our volunteers, to develop solutions that local people can implement and sustain themselves.

We believe everyone has the opportunity to make a difference and to help another person in their own special way.

We want you to come on this journey with us.

We are Different

We believe that relationships matter. That everyone and every project should be treated individually and with respect.

We run all our projects personally and closely to make sure they succeed and evaluate and learn when they don’t. We have trained and experienced local people helping to manage projects on the ground.

We believe in creating bespoke solutions to challenges and using resources carefully to ensure that investment is made in sustainable projects.

We strive to inspire others to create their own solutions to the problems of poverty, education and health. We support community initiatives rather than impose our policies. We work with communities to create sustainable changes and we encourage communities to take ownership of projects. Projects do not flourish without responsibility.

We are Unique

Everyone is unique and has their own abilities. We don’t believe in fitting individuals to projects. We want to discover your talents. We want to help you share your skills. That is why we have a whole range of projects for you to consider and we are happy to help you create your own bespoke project. We want you to love your time in Malawi, to love your project and to love the experience of changing the world. Our approach is holistic, making sure that everyone works together to make a project a success. We research our projects, talk to communities and their leaders.

Why fall in love with Malawi?

Malawi is the up and coming African destination. It has been named as one the top 10 countries to visit by Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel ” 2014 and the top new emerging travel hot spot of 2015 by the Huffington Post. It is known as the warm heart of Africa due to the friendliness of the people. You are always welcomed and crime and social disorder is low. People pride themselves on their friendliness and generosity. It’s a beautiful country with many natural wonders such as Lake Malawi which is the third largest freshwater lake in Africa. It also has the Great Rift Valley, mountains and plateaus. In the wet season, the country is very lush and green. The weather is usually warm and comfortable all year round.

Malawi: The Facts & Figures

Government: Malawi gained independence on 6th July 1964 and was previously known as Nyasaland. It is generally politically stable.

Capital: Lilongwe

Major languages: English and Chichewa (both official)

Major religions: Christianity (80%) and Islam (20%)

Currency: Malawi kwacha (MWK).

Area: 118,480 km² (46,000 miles²) (half the size of the UK).

Climate: Sub tropical: rainy season, December to May; dry season, May to December.

Population: 15.9 million people. (July 2011), growing at 2.8% per year. Nearly half of the population is under 14 and only 2% is over 65.

Infant mortality: 81.04 deaths per 1,000 births.

HIV/AIDS: 11% of the population (2009 estimate). In reality the percentage is likely to be higher.

Population below the poverty line: 53% based on research from 2004 although this is not a reliable indication. 80%of Malawians live in the rural areas; 20% in the towns.

Average annual income: £80-£150.00 a year.

Main exports: Tobacco (70%), sugar, and tea

What challenges does Malawi face?

With a population of 15.9 million, Malawi is largely an agricultural country and is making efforts to overcome decades of underdevelopment and the more recent impact of a growing HIV/AIDS problem. HIV/AIDS is the main cause of adult death in Malawi and adult life expectancy is generally low only 47 years [WHO 2009]. Three-quarters of Malawians live below the international poverty line, surviving on less than £1.00 per day. Other challenges include hunger due to prolonged dry spells, rainfall shortage, flooding and lack of access to nutrious food. According to USAID 45% of the country’s children under the age of five have restricted growth due to the lack of nutrition. Educational opportunities are improving but are still limited and therefore the opportunity for education and vocational training are limited.

Useful websites

Information on Malawi

www.our-africa.org/malawi-Great site with facts and figures on Malawi.

Malawi Tourism Guide:Lonely Planet — Malawi: The usual Lonely Planet information.

Nyasa Times:The Africa Guide:BBC News Country Profile: Malawi: A good website giving basic facts about Malawi.

The Malawi Project, Inc.

Information on overseas development

Unesco – http://www.unesco.org/poverty

The World Bank – http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty

The world Food Programme – http://www1.wfp.org/

Fighting Poverty in Africa – http://www.fightpoverty.mmbrico.com/facts/africa.html

Reading

Inspirational Reading

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World-Jacqueline Novogratz.

Half The Sky: How to Change the World by Nicholas D. Kristof (Author), Sheryl WuDunn.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Paperback by William Kamkwamba (Author), Bryan Mealer.

The Challenge for Africa by Wangari Maathai.

Travel Guides

The Brandt Travel Guide : Malawi (Philip Briggs): Travel guide to Malawi.

Lonely Planet : Malawi (David Else): Travel guide to Malawi.

My Malawi Journal (Bea Buckley): One Peace Corps Volunteer’s experience in Malawi.

Spectrum Guide to Malawi (Kelley White): Travel guide to Malawi.

Visitor’s Guide to Malawi (Martine Maurel): Travel guide to Malawi.