Bangwe is a beautiful small township in Blantyre the commercial hub of Malawi. This program is ideal for those who would love to get soaked in the wilderness of dreamy quiet green surroundings. Away from the hustle and bustle of city this place offers a soothing ambience that only can be experienced while you are there physically. The project is organized in collaboration with the Bangwe weaving factory. Bangwe Weaving Factory is a unit of the Malawi council for the Handicapped (MACOHA). The factory was initially open to train and employee people with disabilities in spinning and weaving craft. The most prominent fact about this company is that it employs majority of people with disabilities. The volunteers at the project will address the issues faced by these helpless workers like making running water available and make a pit latrine as the usual one is not usable owing to lack of water availability.
At the work camp volunteers will help the local staff and builder facilitating work like transporting brick from where they will be delivered to the building site, mixing sand and cement and the process of actual building. While working at the camp, volunteers will have an opportunity of interacting and making friends with other volunteers coming from different cultural back grounds. This will generate a great bonding among them and they will get to share their views and ideas enhancing their learning appetite. You can perform different duties like serving them lunch, assisting them in washing their clothes, organizing recreational activities, and developing creative programs for them like art, music, dance etc. The volunteers are encouraged to visit nearby tourist spots to unwind after the hard work they put in dedicatedly. While you enjoy a day out remember the good work of yours will go a long way even much after you would have left Bangwe. Little gestures of help and care offered by you will bring positive changes in the lives of these underprivileged people with disabilities. GWC needs you for you have the fire and desire that these people look up to in help decreasing the hardship of these people making it such a noble cause to work for.
Typically you are expected to work for about 4 to 6 hours a day; however if you wish to put in more working hours in the interest of needy you are welcome. A typical working day begins after breakfast at 8:30 am till 11 am and after lunch at 1:30 pm to 3:30pm. It is highly recommended that you work with other project closely to adjust better and maximize the impact.
Day 1: Arrival at Lilongwe International Airport, from where you will be taken to your respective accommodation. Your 1st day will be a rest day, so that you can easily recover and refresh yourself after a long journey. But at nights, you have a choice to roam around and enjoy the beautiful place by exploring local surroundings.
Day 2: You will be welcomed at GWC Malawi Office, where you will be given a short introduction about of GWC. You will also be introduced about the local people, local conditions, local language & culture, host family, safety & climate and socio – political issues. Volunteers are encouraged to ask questions and learn more in the process.
Day 3: You will leave for the project site where you will get to meet with the local villagers and will be introduced to the project and the working environment.
Day 4 – 10: Work at Project Location at Bangwe Youth Centre (Please refer Project Highlights for details)
Day 11: This is the time to relax and refresh by taking a tour to village site, interact with locales, staff and your fellow volunteers. You will visit and explore various sightseeing spots and will get to have lots of fun. After dinner in the evening, you can have more fun when you join cultural program performed by local community people which is always a visual treat.
Day 12-13: Project work (Inclusion & Construction) continues.
Day 14: Explore the beautiful places of Malawi along with fellow participants who all are of almost of your own age. This will enhance the bonding among the participants.
Day 15: Completion of project, final experience synthesis and Farewell program will be conducted at the end. This is a wonderful platform to the participants to recall and share important experiences and lessons learnt. During this, a short program of certificate distribution will also take place. Once the program is over, the group of volunteers (youth participants) will leave for departure for their respective destinations.
GWS partner organizations at Malawi will arrange and manage your accommodation, food and supervision while you work in a project. You will stay either with a host family, in a project hostel, in a dormitory or in a Home base. The living conditions of the placement depend on the area to which you are assigned. Although a beautiful, friendly place, Please do not expect luxurious accommodations. You’ll be served 3 (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) meals a day. Volunteers are expected to come forward and prepare their own meals. If you want to have your own food (not included in fee) from local restaurants/anywhere that would suit your tastes and budget, you can have it at your own cost.
MOST IMPORTANT: GWC IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY KIND OF CHANGES MADE IN THE VISA, VISA TYPE OR IN THE FEE BY THE MALAWI EMBASSY/GOVT. OUR PURPOSE IS ONLY TO KEEP YOU INFORMED WITH THE NFORMATION AND MAKE THE JOURNEY EASY FOR YOU BY PROVIDING YOU THE VERY BASIC INFORMATIONS ABOUT THE VISA
Volunteers traveling to host country are suggested to arrive one day before the start of program. The weekly work camp fee will cover expenses beginning of the first day of the program (Refer to date in the table) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program and/or stay beyond the last day of the program, expenses will be the responsibility of the volunteer (usually $30-$50 per day for room/food at the hotel).
If volunteers are delayed or miss their flight, it is highly recommended that you call our offices or your coordinator and make alternative arrangements with them. In the event that a volunteer gets lost, our general suggestion is that they go to the specific contact hotel (provided within the pre-departure package) using a pre-paid taxi service. There is an office offering pre-paid taxi services at the airport. Please do not use outside taxies. Once participants make contact with GWC’s representative or in-country coordinator, they will then be transferred to GWC’s respective offices/hostel.