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  Assisting preschools in Malawi

Volunteering projects often revolve around community development and education. Assisting preschool is one of the most impactful and necessary projects on an ongoing basis. Why exactly is volunteering beneficial for people who strive to make a career in the humanitarian field and what is the situation in Malawi?

An important foundation for life skills

Children at a young age are vulnerable and need a safe, healthy, and supportive environment in order to make the best of their capacities. This is why the humanitarian work in the field of education is extremely important.

Those types of projects help people who want to make a career in the humanitarian sector get a good grasp of what they should expect. The process can be seen as a foundation of life skills for both children and workers/volunteers – while the children establish the core skills of adaptability, quick thinking, discipline, and build up their ambition and persistence humanitarians come face to face with the many challenges and responsibilities that come with the job.

The importance of the project

We all know the tremendous importance of education for the development of each individual. We are also well-aware that education is a human right, however, it is not easily accessible for everyone around the world.

Preschools are of utmost importance as they kick start children’s development and help them improve their social and emotional skills hand in hand with their physical and mental abilities.

Preschools in Malawi are not financially supported by the government so the start of children’s education is all in the hands of the parental communities. And they are doing a great job, however, building school, furnishing classrooms, getting quality teaching resources, and providing proper teacher training are not easy tasks.

 

What are volunteers at preschools doing?

Working with the future of children is not something which should be taken lightly or a project anyone can be involved in just because he/she has good intentions.

Teaching children in preschool requires proper pedagogical education, vast knowledge, and a specific approach. But this is not the only way to assist in the important project.

Volunteers in the field work together with communities to encourage, empower, assist, and mobilize the enthusiasts who want to contribute to improving the situation. The aim is to provide education of the highest possible quality.

Volunteers share their knowledge and use their specific skills to assist caregivers and teachers with new tools, techniques, and resources. Their work also includes construction of playgrounds and improving the environment in classrooms. This is important for the physical development of children and their comfort and well-being in school, also a good environment greatly stimulates the children’s desire to learn and attend classes.

An on-going process

Improving the preschool education and conditions for teachers and students is not a project that has a start and end date. It is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and effort.

Up to August 2019, there have been 23 preschools involved in the project and more showing interest and preparing to join. All the preschools are run by local forces utilize local materials – wood, mosquito nets, and tires are reused to build playgrounds and classroom facilities.

The volunteers help with their skills and manual labor as well as organizational skills to create a joint-venture with the local enthusiasts.

Finally, this is what Marta and Alena (part of Take 10 Volunteer project with assisting preschool in Malawi) have to say about their experience:

 

The first step for us was to visit all the preschools and get to know the communities. We saw buildings in bad conditions. If a kitchen and/or toilet were available most of them were built with grass roofs and soil instead of cement to keep the bricks together. Also, most of the preschools did not have a playground, which is crucial to a child’s physical development as well as the development of their social skills and manners.

A priority is to get proper and durable materials for the buildings. Especially roofing is important because during the rainy season roofs are prone to collapsing unless they are made from metal sheets. Not only would this jeopardize the integrity of the entire school building itself, but it would also put children and caregivers in immediate danger.

Second, after the roofs, proper concrete floors are needed. Then the walls. From there on, we will paint the walls with letters, numbers, animals, and shapes to create a more fun and educational environment. Without proper materials, the buildings can be destroyed easily during the rainy season, and with resources being limited, it could be nearly impossible for the community to be built without help.

Humana People To People India

HPP India is an NGO that strives to unite the people of India and create positive development. They do this by implementing projects transferring knowledge, skills, and capacity to communities that need assistance to fight poverty and other on-going issues.

Learn More

DAPP Malawi

DAPP Malawi believes that poverty can be overcome through adopting a coordinated, community wide approach to development.

A combination of  projects within education, adult literacy, improved livelihoods, increased production, health, women’s empowerment and environmental protection is implemented.

Learn More

DAPP Zambia

DAPP Zambia is working towards an improved livelihood, health, and human rights for all people of Zambia. The projects of the organisation harness peoples’ power and skills for sustainable development and positive collective change.

Learn More

ADPP Mozambique

ADPP Mozambique strives to promote social and economic development for the people of Mozambique who are in the most venerable position.

Perceiving development as a holistic and inclusive process the organisation strives to achieve wellbeing for the people of the country.

Learn More

Volunteering at preschools

“I decided to join a volunteer program because it’s an opportunity to know a new culture, new people, a new country and do it through sharing and helping each other. To get experiences to make us aware and make others aware about another reality”
~ Marta Pujol, Spain

Building playgrounds

 “I joined this program to take a step forward in starting my career as a humanitarian.
I have a love for people and a responsibility to use my privilege to lift others up.
Also, I know what it´s like to be helped and I want to return the favour.
The lessons I learn here I will carry with me for the rest of my life”
~ Alena from the United States of America

Building preschools
What kind of certifications do I get?

Can I get an internship?

It is possible. It all depends on your skills and how well they fit the needs of the organization. Also, it depends on the current need the organization has – if your skills match with their requirements and needs you can land an internship.

What skills can I develop as an International Development Volunteer?

Through the different periods and elements of the programme you have the possibility to develop the following skills:

  • Written & Verbal Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership
  • Self-Reflection
  • Confidence
  • Public Speaking
  • Decision Making
  • Investigative Research
  • Proactive Problem Solving
  • Project Management
Volunteering with preschools

Volunteering projects often revolve around community development and education. Assisting preschool is one of the most impactful and necessary projects on an ongoing basis. Why exactly is volunteering beneficial for people who strive to make a career in the humanitarian field and what is the situation in Malawi?

Working with preschools

 

A foundation for life skills

Children at a young age are vulnerable and need a safe, healthy, and supportive environment in order to make the best of their capacities. This is why the humanitarian work in the field of education is extremely important.

Those types of projects help people who want to make a career in the humanitarian sector get a good grasp of what they should expect. The process can be seen as a foundation of life skills for both children and workers/volunteers – while the children establish the core skills of adaptability, quick thinking, discipline, and build up their ambition and persistence humanitarians come face to face with the many challenges and responsibilities that come with the job.

Working with preschools

The importance of the project

We all know the tremendous importance of education for the development of each individual. We are also well-aware that education is a human right, however, it is not easily accessible for everyone around the world.

Preschools are of utmost importance as they kick start children’s development and help them improve their social and emotional skills hand in hand with their physical and mental abilities.

Working with preschools

Preschools in Malawi are not financially supported by the government so the start of children’s education is all in the hands of the parental communities. And they are doing a great job, however, building school, furnishing classrooms, getting quality teaching resources, and providing proper teacher training are not easy tasks.

Working with preschools

What are volunteers at preschool doing?

Working with the future of children is not something which should be taken lightly or a project anyone can be involved in just because he/she has good intentions.

Teaching children in preschool requires proper pedagogical education, vast knowledge, and a specific approach. But this is not the only way to assist in the important project.

Working with preschools

Volunteers in the field work together with communities to encourage, empower, assist, and mobilize the enthusiasts who want to contribute to improving the situation. The aim is to provide education of the highest possible quality.

Volunteers share their knowledge and use their specific skills to assist caregivers and teachers with new tools, techniques, and resources. Their work also includes construction of playgrounds and improving the environment in classrooms. This is important for the physical development of children and their comfort and well-being in school, also a good environment greatly stimulates the children’s desire to learn and attend classes.

building preschools

An on-going process

Improving the preschool education and conditions for teachers and students is not a project that has a start and end date. It is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and effort.

Up to August 2019, there have been 23 preschools involved in the project and more showing interest and preparing to join. All the preschools are run by local forces utilize local materials – wood, mosquito nets, and tires are reused to build playgrounds and classroom facilities.

Working with preschools

The volunteers help with their skills and manual labor as well as organizational skills to create a joint-venture with the local enthusiasts.

Finally, this is what Marta and Alena (part of Take 10 Volunteer project with assisting preschool in Malawi) have to say about their experience:

Working with preschools

“The first step for us was to visit all the preschools and get to know the communities. We saw buildings in bad conditions. If a kitchen and/or toilet were available most of them were built with grass roofs and soil instead of cement to keep the bricks together. Also, most of the preschools did not have a playground, which is crucial to a child’s physical development as well as the development of their social skills and manners.

A priority is to get proper and durable materials for the buildings. Especially roofing is important because during the rainy season roofs are prone to collapsing unless they are made from metal sheets. Not only would this jeopardize the integrity of the entire school building itself, but it would also put children and caregivers in immediate danger.

Second, after the roofs, proper concrete floors are needed. Then the walls. From there on, we will paint the walls with letters, numbers, animals, and shapes to create a more fun and educational environment. Without proper materials, the buildings can be destroyed easily during the rainy season, and with resources being limited, it could be nearly impossible for the community to be built without help.“

Working with preschools
Humana People To People India

HPP India is an NGO that strives to unite the people of India and create positive development. They do this by implementing projects transferring knowledge, skills, and capacity to communities that need assistance to fight poverty and other on-going issues.

Learn More

DAPP Malawi

DAPP Malawi believes that poverty can be overcome through adopting a coordinated, community wide approach to development.

A combination of  projects within education, adult literacy, improved livelihoods, increased production, health, women’s empowerment and environmental protection is implemented.

Learn More

DAPP Zambia

DAPP Zambia is working towards an improved livelihood, health, and human rights for all people of Zambia. The projects of the organisation harness peoples’ power and skills for sustainable development and positive collective change.

Learn More

ADPP Mozambique

ADPP Mozambique strives to promote social and economic development for the people of Mozambique who are in the most venerable position.

Perceiving development as a holistic and inclusive process the organisation strives to achieve wellbeing for the people of the country.

Learn More

What skills can I develop as an International Development Volunteer?

Through the different periods and elements of the programme you have the possibility to develop the following skills:

  • Written & Verbal Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership 
  • Self-Reflection
  • Confidence
  • Public Speaking
  • Decision Making
  • Investigative Research
  • Proactive Problem Solving
  • Project Management
What kind of certifications do I get?

Do I need a college degree or field experience to join the programme?

No.

Neither a specific experience nor a degree is needed.

Our programmes are designed to equip you with the relevant knowledge and skills you will need for the project period abroad – the rest you will learn along the way.

Is a gap year the right choice?

Is a gap year the right choice?

Taking a gap year before diving into higher education has many benefits for your future personal and professional development. Here are some of them.

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Skills, Experience, Qualifications

Looking for a way to practice what you have learned and take your first steps in the humanitarian sector?
There are many ways to get hands-on experience and acquire the qualifications you need for a good start. Check our resources to get some inspiration and useful information.

Is it worth taking a year out?

Is it worth taking a year out?

What can you do to make a gap year absolutely worth it? There are lots of options and you can get a lot out of it as long as you have a good structure.