Ripple Africa’s primary focus is on running its projects to help the local communities in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi. However, the charity also runs a volunteer programme and welcomes volunteers from overseas. So if you have ever wanted to volunteer in Malawi read more about our volunteering opportunities.

Primary teacher volunteer in Malawi
Interactive teaching by Marianne
Physio helping children with disabilities
Melissa with Disabilities client Wisdom
Education volunteer projects in Africa
Zain helping with reading

What makes a good volunteer?

Ripple Africa volunteers are typically:

  • Realists not idealists
  • Enthusiastic
  • Hard-working
  • Self-motivated
  • Proactive

Volunteers do not replace or take jobs away from local Malawians — they assist them with the various projects the charity runs in the area around Mwaya. Our volunteers are aged 23 years upwards. As a volunteer abroad, you will be part of the team at Mwaya Beach, and it’s important for you all to get into the spirit of communal living. Volunteers often make life-long friends and return to Mwaya for visits.

Volunteer in Malawi – the Programme

Unlike many volunteering operations, our volunteer programme is not rigidly structured. It is really up to you what you become involved with when you reach Mwaya, depending on your skills and particular interests.

When you first arrive, you are given an orientation by the Volunteer Manager who will show you round the local area, our projects, and the schools and medical centres. There are so many opportunities and our staff in Malawi will help guide you as to where you can add value, and then you need to decide where you will be best placed to help. However, it often takes our volunteers some time to settle into life at Mwaya. You must be prepared to be patient as the pace of life in Malawi is much slower and very different to what you are used to.

In general, the more you put into your time volunteering in Malawi, the more you will get out of it.

Volunteer in Malawi – The Projects

All of our projects are focused on finding simple, low-cost local solutions to a wide variety of problems faced by the local communities at Mwaya and in the neighbouring villages. If you are looking to volunteer in Malawi, Africa, it is important to know that our volunteers are there to assist with existing projects and not to take away jobs from the local Malawians.

Placement Length

Excited to volunteer in Malawi? We encourage a stay of a minimum of four weeks. The average volunteer placement is around three months which allows volunteers to establish solid relationships in the community and contribute a reasonable amount of time to the projects. For volunteer teachers, it allows them to complete one school term in most cases. It is important to recognise that, although the volunteers will benefit enormously from their experience volunteering with Ripple Africa at Mwaya, our main responsibility is to provide consistent and effective assistance to the community.

Volunteer Accommodation

This comprises some lovely beach chalets which the volunteers share, communal hot and cold showers, and toilets. Fabiana, Martha and Geddess prepare the evening meals and do the washing up. Maria and Rebecca do the volunteers’ laundry, wash their bed linen, and clean the showers and toilets. The property, which is located right on the beach, and the local area are really beautiful. For more information about Mwaya Beach, please read the Mwaya Beach, Malawi, Africa – Home of Ripple Africa section on the Accommodation and the Area page.

How to Apply

Please read the Application Process page, and then complete the online Enquiry Form if you are interested in volunteering with Ripple Africa.

Want to Visit But Can’t Commit to Our Recommended Placement Duration?

We welcome visitors too. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the work we do by spending time with our passionate staff and visiting the many varied projects we run. For more information, go to the Visit Us in Malawi. At the end of your stay with us in Malawi, you may be keen to go on safari. We recommend you contacting Kiboko Safaris or The Responsible Safari Company for more information.

Accommodation at Mwaya Beach
Volunteer chalets at Mwaya Beach
Group volunteering abroad in Africa
Volunteers and Mwaya team
Cycle to placements in rural Malawi
Cycling off to projects