Voluntourism – experience in Malawi
WHAT WE WILL DO
Voluntourism – experience in Malawi. This program was created following both requests and our desire to contribute to the development of the country through volunteering or as it is called, voluntourism. Starting from our base in Mulanje, where we will learn the basics of Malawi’s culture through a short course of Chichewa organized by AROUND AWT, we will match the discovery of the culture of the country, to a volunteer experience in the heart of Africa. We will be guests, for about one week, at one of the associations that we have supported regularly for years. Welcomed by young people of all ages from FOMO (Friends of Mulanje Orphans), who attend primary and secondary schools through 14 distribution centers in the area. They are protected and assisted with basic needs. The help that a volunteer can give is to contribute positively to the creation of a solid foundation for a primary education, so that children should welcome the idea of overcoming the challenges for secondary education, constantly motivate them to continue their studies and to commit to their education. On this volunteer trip you have the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with the children with whom we are in close contact, acquiring new skills through the exchange. Volunteers can contribute in different subject areas, English, mathematics, the arts, sport, food education, ecology, to raise awareness of issues of common interest. End the experience with a few days of safari in Liwonde National Park, admiring the beauty of the river Shire and its elephants, crocodiles, hippos and then the Mua mission with its museum to know more about the country and contribute to the tourism industry. We then proceed to Lake Malawi to be in close touch with the simplicity of Malawian life of the fishing villages, fishermen and farmers.
DURATION 18 days.
Voluntourism program is a powerful experience of giving and receiving.The days at our base in Mulanje, will be used to start learning the fundamentals of the Chewa language (Chi-Chewa) and some characteristic traits of Malawian culture, organized in collaboration with AROUND AWT. The walks around the crop area of Mulanje tea will accompany these days of study and deeper understanding of the traditions. There will be the opportunity to spend time with some of our staff and teach some subject that can be useful and fun. This project can be achieved through sport and / or the construction of objects with the use of recycled materials such as plastic or even mini-cooking courses, to learn some recipes, motivating individuals to a positive professional growth, collaborating to develop AROUND AWT.
Later we will move at the facilities of the association Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO), their significant presence has an aid for about 5,000 children in the area with 14 centers, where we will have the opportunity to teach one or more subjects and interact with teachers present, strengthening their capacities education and communication through the sharing of ideas. Drawing, painting, dance, sports, are some of the possibilities that we will have to motivate young people to participate, creating an even more positive and friendly environment.
Finally, get to know other realities and issues of the country and to contribute through economic growth in the tourism industry, we grant you a few days of relaxation and safari.
We visit the Liwonde National Park, the most famous park of Malawi. Along the Shire River, inhabiting many elephants and antelopes such as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteini) and sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), buffalo, zebras, hyenas, warthogs, baboons, hippos and crocodiles; hundreds of species of birds inhabit the park which is a real ornithological paradise. The vegetation is very diverse, ranging from forests of mopane, the palm trees, the grassland, the acacias, while the hills dominate the forests of miombo. For this reason Liwonde is the only place in Malawi, where the inseparable Lilian Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae) nests. The park is also an IBA (Important Bird Area) recognized internationally with significant populations of rare or endangered species.
Legends and tales inhabit the imagination that describes the magic of Mount Mulanje Forest Reserve.
Then visit Mua Mission active since 1902. Since then, the White Fathers opened a cultural center dedicated to the art and the important KuNgoni Chamare ethnographic museum that preserves the rich heritage of Malawi; Here we can admire the collection of masks of Gule Wamkulu, secret ceremony of the ethnic Chewa, largest collection of masks in the world! We will move on the banks of the third largest lake in Africa, to the Lake Malawi National Park. This is a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest water reserves. By the clear waters and golden beaches that cannot be compared to our Italian coast; it is estimated that the endemic fish that inhabit the waters, cichlids, are around 1000 species. The fishing villages add to the simplicity of Malawian life, with its rhythms from the lake. Here we will surely meet the fishermen of the lake with their fishing canoes who are dedicated to following old traditions. The drying of fish is a ritual and a procedure in which they are involved together with the old women of the village, while the children and the boys help the fishermen repairing nets. Malawi is a warm and welcoming country: its people have a warm and hospitable heart that in no other country in Africa we have ever heard.
The staff is composed by local guides. WHO WE ARE
MEANS OF TRANSPORT
The distances will be covered with a half Land Cruiser off-road 4 × 4 from 9 comfortable seats or other means that we deem suitable.
At Mulanje accommodation at the base of Africa Wild Truck, in old colonial house, within a historic garden in the tea plantations. Subsequently, accommodation at one of the centers run by the Friends of Mulanje Orphans; a spirit of adaptation to lodging, in this case, considering the particularity of the situation, must be a little higher. Subsequent nights are in a nice and simple lodge on Lake Malawi near the Lake Malawi National Park. In Liwonde national park overnight at amazing camp, equipped for camping and overlooking the river where the elephants come to drink. At Mua, spend the night in well-equipped bungalows, property, belonging to the Fathers or Missionaries. The rooms in the lodge / chalet / hotel, is intended, unless otherwise requested, in double or, in rare cases, triple; They could be replaced for technical-organizational problems without distorting the original plan. The facilities have been carefully chosen following an idea of land conservation and sustainability of travel, preferring positions in close contact with nature. If you want to know the list of lodges, please write us for more details!
Temperatures depend largely on the season, from the latitudes and altitudes. On the right is a table indicative of average temperatures in the different seasons. The hottest month is November, the coolest month is June / July. The dry season is from April / May to November. The wet season runs from December to March / April, during this time you can see the parks in their green splendor; some babies of mammals are born in this period as well as many birds cross for the mating season, changing plumage and courting females. We recommend both seasons, both in fact have a special charm. Contact us for more information on the current season, they are not all the same each year!
We will travel about 1,000 km of paved trails
WHAT IS VOLUNTOURISM FOR US
Volunteering or Voluntourism. We feel the desire to contribute to Malawi’s development through volunteering or as it is called, Voluntourism.
A Voluntourism program is a strong and intense experience of giving and receiving.
Through volunteering you can try to make a difference, even just for one person, for:
- give confidence and gain confidence in any project
- motivate the individual growth and, why not, find motivation yourself
- teaching and learning
- listen and share moments of dialogue
- deal with different cultures and learn about different lifestyles
- travel and discover the culture of the country
The volunteer’s attitude is of respect for local customs and humility towards the work of people active and in the area, towards nature and aware that an experience of this kind does not make us heroes and masters, but rather teaches us.
The possibilities are endless.
If you have knowledge you want to share, then stepped forward and write us! If you have patience, flexibility, overall vision, adaptability, initiative, optimism, willingness to listen and a positive attitude then your experience will be unforgettable.
Our principles are inspired by respect, equality and equal dignity of every individual, the motivation that drives us to organize is the commitment to help a territory, children, teens and people in need in the broadest possible sense. Voluntourism, in our opinion, should not miss the discovery of the environment and the country, to complete the experience and interpret reality in a comprehensive way through a few days of travel.