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Life whilst volunteering

  • Location

Searchlight Orphan Care operates in Kambona (red marker) and the surrounding villages in the Phalombe District in Southern Malawi, 90 km from Blantyre. This will be where volunteers will be based, giving you a chance to experience genuine African village life.

  • Structure
How volunteers experience and structure their placement is entirely up to them. Volunteers who teach typically do so 5 days a week but can teach for more (the kids are very keen to learn!) or less if they desire. You can also choose how many hours you teach a day, how much responsibility you take on, how many classes you do and the roles you take in them.

At weekends you can stay at the volunteer site and play with the children and get involved with community life or you can go and explore nearby sites and attractions.

We also appreciate volunteers may want to explore Malawi when they are here and we encourage them to do this, Malawi is a very beautiful country. Volunteers can choose to do this before, during or after their placement, basically whenever they want!

For me information on things to see and do when you are in Malawi click here

  • Accommodation

Volunteers will live in a family home stay with host families. The homely living conditions are made to be very comfortable. Home stays are located very close to where the volunteers will be working and have electricity. Photos of the home where you will stay are displayed here.
Volunteers are provided with their own bedroom with a fan and a mosquito net. Western style toilet and showers are available.

  • Food
Volunteers are provided with 3 meals a day and with bottled water to drink throughout the day. The meals provided are breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

The food provided is a combination of Western and Malawian cooking. A typical breakfast might be tea, toast and fruit or mandasi (Malawian doughnuts. Lunch usually consists of beans, rice, meat/vegetables and omelette's. A possible Dinner could be eggs, chips, vegetables, meat or nsima. Visitors should remember Malawi is a third world country and whilst we strive to provide the best we can, the food can be somewhat basic and with smaller portions compared to what you may eat at home. If you have any concerns, questions or special dietary requirements please contact us at duncan@searchlightmalawi.com 

  • Getting Around in Malawi
Transportation in Malawi is generally cheap and plentiful although not always quick! Whilst on their placement, volunteers can take minibuses and buses to nearby towns and sites. Our volunteer supervisor Damson is more than happy to accompany volunteers on such trips. Duncan can also drive the volunteers in his car.

Before and after their placement, volunteers should find getting around Malawi relatively easy although they should be cautious and patient at times! Volunteers are advised to pick up a guidebook prior to coming to plan their travels although we are also happy to offer advice on the best way to get around.