Why Volunteer

Open Arms welcomes volunteers and visitors …with Open Arms!

Volunteering in Malawi will give you an opportunity to put your expertise and experience to the test, learn new skills, meet some great people and make a difference to your life, and to the children of Open Arms. As well as giving something back and contributing to Open Arms,  you will also benefit from the experience.

            Volunteering at Open Arms was a defining moment in my life. If I had to summarize it in a few words they would be: “Fun, Amazing, Eye Opening, Beautiful, Madness, Best thing I ever did” Sharon, London

What will I do?

You can stay as a volunteer from 3 weeks to 3 months in either (or both!) Blantyre and Mangochi. You will spend your time helping with the babies, working in the grounds on maintenance work or in Harrogate House with the older children in the nursery school.

At Open Arms no two days are the same and your stay will vary from day to day, whether you are in Mangochi or Blantyre.

Whenever you are within the grounds of Open Arms, you will be looked after however we can not take responsibility for your safety and well being when you are out and about. It is suggested that you read up on Malawi prior to arrival and have an understanding of our culture. A good introduction to Malawi and life as a volunteer can be gained from our volunteers group. There are some great travel guides to Malawi, and it is really handy to have one of these with you.







Where will I stay?

In both Blantyre and Mangochi there is volunteer accommodation on site at a modest cost of US$10 per night. This payment goes towards the running costs of Open Arms Infant Homes.  The “volly’s house” consists of two bedrooms with two beds in each – a kitchen, bathroom and lounge. Access to wifi is also available in Blantyre.

Volunteers House Mangochi

The Lounge

Volunteers House Blantyre


How much does it cost?

A charge of $10 a day per volunteer is made for accommodation on both sites. A further $25 would allow for a reasonable standard of living during your stay. Blantyre tends to be more expensive than Mangochi, where there are no supermarkets and few restaurants.

We urge all volunteers to take advantage of one or two of the tourist experiences, such as Mount Mulanje, Liwonde or Majete National Parks and Lake Malawi. We can help make these arrangements with you.

How do I get there?

There are flights to Malawi via South Africa, Kenya or Ethiopia and you could arrive in either Blantyre or Lilongwe. If you arrive into Lilongwe you might have to travel to Blantyre by bus to Blantyre or Mangochi. If you fly into Blantyre we will try to arrange for you to be picked you up from the airport.

If applicable make sure you sort out your visa requirements with the Malawian Embassy before you leave.

Vaccinations and insurance

Your doctor will tell you what vaccinations you will need, and advise you on malarial prophylaxis (which you must take!) Be sure your tetanus jab is up to date and familiarise yourself with information on bilharzia and water born diseases.

Acceptance as a volunteer is conditional on you taking out travel insurance with medical cover for your trip.  Should you become very ill and you need medical evacuation from Malawi it could cost you up to US$25000!  As a charity, we cannot bear the risk of these costs and so please insure that you take out medical insurance  the chances of needing it are low – but it’s not worth the risk!

What next?

Sound like something that you would like to do? Apply here!

We have volunteers from all over the world and from all walks of life! if you are still not convinced read some volunteer profiles to help you decide.  Few people would say it didn’t change the way they thought about things.

We look forward to welcoming you to the warm heart of Africa!