Malawi is a beautiful country bordering Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia. The people are extremely welcoming and the Mulanje Mountains and Lake Malawi attract adventure seekers from around the world. Slow economic growth means that education is greatly valued, and Lattitude volunteers work in schools assisting students with their English skills as well as teaching subjects such as history, maths, science and art. Other placements provide direct support to local communities within orphanages or working in community clinics supporting medical staff.
Placements are located throughout Malawi, either in rural areas or on the outskirts of small towns, click here to view a map.
Is it for me?
If you are interested in really contributing to a community through teaching, then Malawi is for you. In schools you may help students to improve their English skills as well as teach subjects such as history, maths, science and art. Some placements involve an element of community work, as you could also teach at a school attached to an orphanage or work with children with disabilities. Alternatively you may work within health clinics supporting staff with a range of basic tasks.
Teaching placements in Malawi are either at schools or within institutions that support the community. The official language in Malawi is English, however many students only have basic English skills. Volunteers teach a range of subjects such as English, maths, history, geography, drama and sport with limited resources and teaching aids. There is generally a curriculum to follow and from which lesson plans can be developed. Most students work very hard and any extra support is greatly appreciated.
Community placements are within schools attached to orphanages, or for children with hearing impairments or severe disabilities, as well as at a local hospital. In addition to assisting with teaching a range of subjects, volunteers provide extra support within the institutions as required.
Medical placements provide support to local health professionals working in a range of health facilities. Often the staff are overstretched and cover extended geographical areas, and volunteers assist with basic tasks while gaining an insight into a number of medical fields.
Accommodation & food
Volunteers are allocated a teachers’ house on the school campus or live with a host family. Most accommodation is quite basic but does have electricity and running water, some furniture and a small amount of cooking equipment. Some food is supplied but volunteers may also need to supplement their diet with extra food which they purchase and prepare themselves.
Before you go:
- We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.
- Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the Melbourne office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and visas and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a briefing camp to meet other volunteers and Lattitude staff, identify their learning needs and hear from returned volunteers.
- All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
When you're overseas:
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Volunteers attend a group orientation on arrival in Malawi and, if needed for their placement, undertake a short teaching skills course.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from Melbourne.
When you're back:
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- We undertake reviews against the learning needs identified before going overseas which may form part of a reference provided at the end. A letter can also be provided to use towards an application for Youth Allowance.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in Malawi in 2014
Lattitude fees (exact costs)
|Lattitude Application Fee||$125|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$3600|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$370|
You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs)
|Travel Insurance (6 months)||$1040|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$2846|
|Total cost (approximate)
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, purchasing any additional clothing required and arranging travel vaccinations.
The main opportunity for travel will be during the school holidays and at the end of your placement. Often touted as the “warm heart of Africa”, Malawi’s landscape is as spectacular as it is diverse and its people are warm and welcoming. Travel in Malawi is a wonderful experience. Swim, dive and kayak in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Malawi, hike the peaks of Mount Mulanje, and get up close to the wildlife on a walking safari in the beautiful Liwonde and Nyika National Parks. A compact country, Malawi is easy to travel around.
|Departs in 2014:||January|
|Duration:||Jan - 6 months|
|Aug - 4 months|
> Community Worker
> Medical Assistant
Languages: English and Chichewa
Population: 14 million
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) minus 8 hours
Climate: Malawi's temperatures are moderated by altitude. Average temperatures range from 30°C in November to low 20s°C in July.
Currency: Malawian Kwacha
“I spent the first seven months of this year in Malawi working in a primary and secondary school, helping out at the kindergarten as well as the hospital and having a wonderful time with my host family. They have taken me on as an additional member of the family and I now consider them to be my Malawian parents and siblings.”
Nicole Plumb, Lattitude Teacher