Prisca helping students with the tablets.
VSO/Halifax Trading Malawi

Volunteering in Malawi

We have been working in Malawi since 1958. Our volunteers in Malawi are vital to supporting education, health and livelihoods initiatives. 

Volunteering in Malawi

Mphatso using tablet in class
Halifax Trading Malawi

Theonas Kalumika is an education specialist volunteer in Malawi on the Unlocking Talent project. Before he started volunteering for VSO, he was a primary school teacher for 13 years and spent 18 years as a primary education advisor.

With an average life expectancy of 54 years and ranked 173rd out of 188 on the Human Developing Index, Malawi remains one of the least developed countries in the world. 61% of the population live below the poverty line and although school enrollment is high, quality of education remains low.

Our volunteers support work to address serious inequalities.

Our innovative Unlocking Talent education project is using technology to break down barriers to education - increasing quality of education as well as increasing attendance throughout the whole country. 

Our work in prisons supports young inmates to make informed decisions about their health and helps build resilience for after their release. 80% of those who took part in counselling in prison were successfully reintegrated into their community.

Volunteers in Malawi also support projects working to improve access to sustainable sources of food and income. This includes supporting entrepreneurship, building vocational skills and improving access to markets for local producers. 

See all our current volunteer roles

Volunteer stories from Malawi

Children using tablet computers in a Malawi classroom | VSO
©VSO/Amos Gumulira

“Be ready to meet new people and build communities, gain knowledge and a sense of purpose.”

Hear from Lameck Dition Sandram from Malawi, who volunteered in Sierra Leone where he worked on VSO’s Unlocking Talent (UT) project, applying his 25 years of experience in education to train staff and collect real-time project implementation data. 

Mike Barnes

How tech is helping improve learning outcomes: Mike Barnes’ story

In 2017 Mike Barnes, an ex-primary school headteacher, joined VSO’s Unlocking Talent project in Malawi, providing students with tablet computers loaded with local language courses in numeracy and literacy. Read how he helped improve learning outcomes for thousands of children.

Bake Off David Atherton | VSO volunteer
©VSO/Georgie Scott

From volunteer nurse to Great British Bake Off winner: David Atherton

David Atherton volunteered with VSO in Malawi training nurses and midwives, before going on to support thousands of VSO volunteers and staff as part of our medical team.


Find out more about our work