Volunteer in Zambia
Building and community volunteering in rural Zambia
Book now for £49
Group Size: Varies
Trip code: VZAM
Duration: 14-28 days
On this amazing and quite unique programme, you'll be getting stuck in to community life in Mwandi village right from the start! Get your hands dirty, help to build new homes for a rural Zambian village using traditional methods, and learn from an amazing community about their culture and way of life. You'll also have the rewarding opportunity to help out at a volunteer-built local school and nursery and visit a local feeding programme for local children. This is a varied volunteer project for those who are happy to get stuck in with all activities!
After all that hard work you'll be in need of a well-deserved break and we've got just the thing – an epic optional safari in Botswana! Experience awesome landscapes, loads of wildlife and photo opportunities galore.And if that's not enough, our brilliant in-country team can even arrange a trip to Victoria Falls for you!
- Build new homes for a Zambian community and provide better living conditions for children
- Assist teachers at local schools and nurseries and inspire the children to learn
- Get involved in community work – help out at a school or nursery
- Make new friends and learn about the local village culture
- Travel to Livingstone in your own time and visit the world-famous Victoria Falls!
- Go on an optional four day Safari in Botswana
For this amazing volunteer project you be based in the small village of Mwandi, located between the towns of Livingstone and Sesheke in the heart of Zambia. It's a little off the beaten track, which is why you'll find few tourists around, so expect an authentic African experience, where you'll get to talk to the local residents and find out more about the local culture.
Purpose and Aim of the Project
The project in Mwandi is centred on the immediate community and looks to improve living conditions for the families living in the village. House-building is in constant need due to the lifespan of traditional mud houses. Unfortunately, weather, namely rain damage, and general wear and tear cause houses to deteriorate and become uninhabitable after ten years or so, and with many of the residents living on less than a dollar a day, it's difficult for necessary repairs to be made to ensure the safety of certain homes. This project is in place to make sure the most vulnerable members of the community have shelter and can be cared for in a safe environment. A number of the families you'll be helping might have disabilities, children might be orphaned, or might be too elderly to build their own houses.
Another key aim of the project is to assist in a local, volunteer-built, community school, where you can choose to volunteer. While at the school, you can help teach students aged between 3 and 8, inspiring students to learn, as well as helping with homework, running sports sessions, and helping give out nutritious and healthy meals to the students and community.
You'll be helping Zambian people directly, getting to know the families and community as a whole as you work side-by-side, building a better future for the residents of Mwandi. The project aims to help build the community in the village, and you'll be able to see the impact your work has almost instantaneously.
What to Expect
The main focus of your volunteer work will be building housing in the village, or helping teach at a local, volunteer-built, community school, for children aged between 3 and 8.
The building will be focused on constructing African-style houses using traditional methods and materials, such as mud from termite mounds and wood, for families in the village. Everyone gets involved in building the new homes, from young children to elderly village residents. The qualified local staff will also be on hand to show you what to do and guide you through.
As a volunteer, you will also be able to assist teachers in the village preschool or middle school with classes. If you're a qualified teacher, you might even be given the opportunity to hold some of your own classes.
Close by, there's a centre for disadvantaged and vulnerable children, where a feeding programme takes place to give the children there a healthy lunch, six days a week. You'll be invited to visit the feeding programme and observe the fantastic work that's taking place there. After school hours, you are welcome to spend time with the children playing games and helping them with their reading. Sport is also popular with the children – and they love the opportunity to play any games with willing volunteers.
In your downtime, you'll get to explore the region, with your helpful team being able to organise trips and activities for you. You'll have the opportunity to visit nearby Victoria Falls – a must-do while you're in Zambia, and if you are staying for three weeks or more then why not add on a fantastic five-day safari in Botswana, where you'll get to see some of Africa's most incredible wildlife.
The Botswana safari is completely optional, and comprises a four day itinerary; if you’re staying for three weeks or more than you can add this on! Download the trip notes for more information on this 4 day excursion. Please note: the Botswana safari does not run during July.
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Your flight to Zambia should arrive at Livingstone airport before 14:30 on your programme start date.
You will be transferred back to Livingstone on your programme end date, if you flying out of Livingstone on this day, please arrange a flight that departs after 12 noon to allow enough time for your journey back to Livingstone. If you wish to spend some days in Livingstone after your programme, before you leave Zambia, please allow a couple of days to do so.
Whilst on the programme in Mwandi village, you will either be staying in a basic but comfortable shared chalet or a large canvas safari tent. The chalets are en-suite, have electricity, a fan, and mosquito nets. The Canvas tents are comfortable and large enough to stand up and move around in. They are waterproof and are fitted with mosquito netting. There is also a large communal kitchen where two cooks will prepare all your meals for you, and it also serves as a community room to play cards or games or just to hang out in, there are hot and cold showers for your use in all the chalets and 2 outside safari type showers that are fully tiled where you can shower under a large banana tree.
If you are volunteering for more than three weeks, you'll have the opportunity to add on an amazing safari in Botswana where you will be staying in comfortable shared lodge rooms.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included throughout your project work and will consist of traditional, local dishes as well as all your Western favourites. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements at time of booking. During your own time, and time away from the project if you choose to go on excursions, you'll be able to purchase low-cost food locally. Your tour guides and the staff at the project can point you in the right direction or give you recommendations.
Minimum age 18, maximum decided on health and fitness of participant. Due to the varied nature of this project, we are looking for volunteeers who are flexible and ready to get stuck in with any task and get their handy dirty.
Most nationalities need a visa to enter Zambia, for this programme volunteers are requested to obtain a 30 day Business Visa. Nationals of the UK, USA, Australia and most European Countries can purchase single and double entry Business visas are available at all ports of entry. You should ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
For entry into Botswana, volunteers require a tourist visa. Most nationalities will be issues with a free tourist visa at the port of entry.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
An enhanced DBS check is required for this programme. If you do not hold a certificate dated within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us as we can help you arrange the DBS check for an extra fee.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.