Volunteer‎ > ‎

How do I Apply?

When can I come?

Volunteers are welcome throughout the year. There are no specific starting dates and no set period of notice is required.

How long can I stay?

Volunteers may stay for one week to a year. 4 weeks is the typical duration most volunteers stay here for but shorter and longer stays are very much possible. Gap year students are always welcome.

How much does it cost?

It costs $800 US Dollars (~£470 Sterling) to stay for 4 weeks. If you are interested in staying for a longer or shorter period of time please contact us at and we can let you know the price for this. To find out the exact cost in your currency please click here.

This fee covers transport to and from the airport, accommodation and food and water throughout the project. The remainder is directly invested in the charity and will be used to feed and care for the orphans and to help achieve our charitable aims. 

Further costs you will need to consider will be your flights to and from the country, your travel insurance, visa fees, vaccinations and personal expenses. Please remember it is your responsibility to organise your trip yourself, SOC can provide advice but it is ultimately up to you so please budget carefully and think of all the things you need to do before you arrive.

Payment can be made to our organisation's bank account.

Please note that we are unable to issue refunds after you have been picked from the airport, placed in an accommodation and started your volunteer work. We pay for your accommodation and other expenses upfront. Our experience is that it is difficult to retrieve funds already dispensed to your hosts and various projects that we assist.

Who can come? 
All people 18 years of age and older are welcome to come and volunteer. Experience in teaching, child welfare or healthcare is not required, we only ask you share the same desire to do what you can to help as we do.  

We are able to provide different roles for different levels of experience so would gladly welcome both a qualified teacher and a volunteer with no qualifications.

What are the next steps?

If you are interested in volunteering or have any further questions please contact us at info@searchlightmalawi.com .Please state your name, the dates you are interested coming out on, for how long you wish to volunteer, which programme/combination of programmes you would like to volunteer for and provide us with a few details about your background.

We will get back to you as soon as possible and provide you with more information and with details of proceeding with your application. You should expect to hear from us within 5 days at the latest.

Once we have agreed how long you shall stay and when you can come you should start to look for your flights to and from Malawi, your travel insurance, arrange any visa and vaccinations and make all other relevant travel arrangements and medical precautions. All of your travel arrangements excluding your transport from the airport to your homestay are your responsibility although we are of course happy to provide you with advice and assistance as required.

Your flight details should be emailed as soon as available. These will consist of flight number, date and time of your arrival. Payment should be made in advance of coming to the project and will ideally be completed when you have confirmed your flight details.

Arrival will be at Chileka Airport in Blantyre or Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe. You will be met by a SOC host  as well as local staff. You will then be transferred to your host site for some rest. Your accommodation will be comfortable, secure, and convenient. It will also be within a reasonable distance for you to attend to your volunteer responsibilities.

On the day of arrival, you will have opportunity to email or call friends and relatives to let them know you have arrived safely.

Your orientation will in most cases occur the day after your arrival. It covers informative sessions on the needs of local communities, safety, malaria, Malawian food, shopping, clothing, cultural restrictions, language, currency and how to be safe and streetwise in Malawi.