Volunteer in breathtaking Malawi and assist local volunteers with creches, teenage mother assistance, sports and skills training.
|Minimum Duration:||1 week|
|Cost:||From 265 USD per week|
|Minimum Age:||18 years|
The Child Development Support Organization (CHIDESO) is a community-based organization in the Masasa community in Mzuzu city in the north of Malawi.
Chideso plays an integral role in the development of a community facing many challenges such as extreme poverty, low life expectancy, child neglect and HIV/AIDS. They provide and are involved in the early development of children, training vocational skills to adults and skills development.
Early childhood development (pre-school)
Chideso has 3 early childhood development centres (pre-schools) of children between the ages of 2-5 years with the current enrolment of 138 (boys-64 and girls 74).
Child rights and child protection advocacy
The rights of children are the pivotal point of Chideso programs. We make every effort to teach awareness to the community about the rights of children and duties of the households in upholding these rights. Chideso advocates for the rights of children with different stakeholders and duty bearers, such as educators, churches, community groups and others. Some of the biggest challenges in the abuse of the rights of children are; sexual abuse, child labour (mostly for girls) and early marriage where girls as young as 14 are married off.
Education support to orphans and other vulnerable children
Volunteers will assist the project as it supports education in the following ways;
- Paying school fees for orphans and other vulnerable children.
- Providing them with school uniforms and other learning materials like note books, pens and mathematical instruments.
- Conducting debates and interschool quizzes to encourage learning and critical thinking skills.
- Working with school authorities in improving sanitation through construction of latrines and providing sanitary pads for girls.
HIV and AIDS prevention care and support
As HIV and AIDS are a very serious social problem in most parts of Malawi, the Masasa community is not spared from this. Chideso is working with the community in prevention, care and support through 2 HIV/AIDS support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Youth development and sports
Volunteers can get involved in helping Chideso with a range of youth programs and activities, such as;
- Youth leadership skills and life skills
- Career guidance for youth
- HIV/AIDS education and prevention of other sexually transmitted infections
- Youth-aimed community charity work programs
- Sports and recreational activities..
- Being a volunteer driven initiative mainly depending on the contributions among the members, there is an ongoing challenge for financial support and materials to support the running of the different projects. If any volunteers can contribute with any of the following items this would be highly appreciated.
- Teaching and learning materials (colouring pens, stationary, educational toys, etc).
- Any clothing, shoes etc for children
- Financial support for electricity, internet costs and telephone bills.
- Sports equipment for after school recreation such as footballs, netballs and sports uniforms.
Please take note that part of your fees includes a donation to Chideso to support them with their ongoing running costs and that additional donations are not expected but highly appreciated.
Tasks and activities
This project is very diverse and challenging since you’ll be dealing with the local community and a diversity of projects. You will get acquainted with the circumstances in which most Malawians live today, and experience their culture and situation. Be prepared to face poverty and challenging circumstances, but participating as a volunteer will contribute to the growth and opportunities for this organization.
Volunteers can be involved in a variety of tasks and activities such as:
- Assisting with developing new projects and making proposals.
- Monitoring and evaluation of existing projects.
- Assisting in one of the pre- schools, crèches and primary school.
- Developing play activities, educational programmes and sports activities.
- Offering of computer classes to youth and adults.
- HIV/AIDS and life skills education among secondary school youth.
It is of absolute importance that volunteers are fairly independent and mature individuals. You will be able to create your own programme together with the project coordinator and combine different activities to offer you a unique experience, but you will have to be able to work more or less independent and take initiative.
You most likely won’t be alone when volunteering and meet both local as international volunteers. We get volunteers from all over the world, from the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and many other countries.
You will be staying with one of our selected host families within walking distance of Chideso making it very easy to come to work and get back home. Your hosts offers a comfortable family home with 2 bedrooms with 2 beds. There is a private bathroom for volunteers to use with a western toilet and shower with warm water.
Depending on how busy it is you will share a room with other volunteers and male and female volunteers will have separate rooms. We take couples and older volunteers in account and if possible provide them with a private room, so please let us know if you have any questions regarding the accommodation.
Malawian meals are different from western meals and we encourage you to eat what is prepared for you, otherwise you are free to buy and cook your own food. There are 3 meals a day prepared for you which will be local food mostly made up of rice, pastas, ‘nsima’ (porridge of maize meal), fish, vegetables and meats.
Breakfast is usually porridge or bread with coffee or tea. Lunch and dinner are cooked meals.
We encourage you to assist with cooking and cleaning up and make some of your personal favourite dishes.
Your host family is within walking distance from the centre making it very easy to walk to and from work.
To reach any facilities such as the main street with banks, internet café, shopping centre with a modern supermarket it is only a 10-15-minute walk away, but we encourage you to use the local bicycle taxis that will transport you anywhere you need to go for a small fee.
At night we discourage you to walk alone to be as safe as possible and we will make sure you have a variety of numbers for local taxis who will offer door to door services for very reasonable rates.
What is included?
- Information and assistance before departure
- City Tour and Introduction
- Direct donation to the project
- Accommodation and all meals (7 days a week)
What is excluded?
- Personal luxuries such as snacks, cold drinks and alcohol.
- Airport transfer from Lilongwe at 150 USD (local payment) per vehicle one way (4-5 hour drive one way)
- Costs for weekend trips
- Flight tickets
Dates are flexible for volunteers and you can start at any time throughout the year. Bookings are done per full weeks with a minimum of 1 week.
Despite being the third biggest city in Malawi and being central to the north of the country, Mzuzu has a very laid back and village feel to it. The city is stretched out and links to rural farming communities in the immediate area. Mzuzu has a central location connecting to Lake Malawi at Nkhata Bay, which is only 50 km away and travel routes up north to Tanzania and beyond.
The location of Mzuzu makes it its temperatures and climate more enjoyable than at the lake, where it can be very hot and humid. It is easily reachable from Lilongwe in the south and is a great place to travel to some of the highlights of Malawi, such as Nkhata Bay and Kande Beach at Lake Malawi, Livingstonia further to the north, Nyika Plateau to the west and Viphya Forest to the south.