The Childcare Program
The mission of this program is to provide quality care and teaching to young children in the local community centre and pre-school. The centre serves around 100 local children, many of whom live in challenging and impoverished situations. Many of the children come from difficult backgrounds and therefore require a lot of care, attention, encouragement and most importantly, companionship. The experience of helping vulnerable children, while it can be emotionally difficult, is a positive and life-changing one. Volunteers supply critical support to the teachers at the preschool, who are greatly under resourced. There are simply not enough local staff in the facility, which is why volunteer help is essential. The children greatly benefit from the support and attention that they receive from volunteers, who are greatly appreciated by the local teachers and children. Volunteers help on a multitude of tasks within the preschool, helping to run daily activities and supply the care and education these children deserve.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential care to vulnerable children in Zambia
- Improve the future prospects of children with a solid early childhood education
- Give impoverished children quality care, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in helping disadvantaged children through this program. They gain fantastic experience working with children, while also gaining the opportunity to learn more about Zambian people and culture. Participants will spend their time taking care of children and assist the local team as needed. The centre runs sessions for pre-schoolers from 8:30am until midday and for younger children in the afternoon, usually between 12:30–2pm. The hours are somewhat flexible, however, and can change without much notice. In the afternoons volunteers will also have the opportunity to help out on the construction project, another Love Volunteers program in the village. This is a highlight for any volunteer, especially after learning about the challenges these families face and seeing their appreciation when their new home is completed. Volunteers on the program are encouraged to use their skills and interests to assist local teachers in developing activities for the children, such as music and dance, sports, arts and crafts, etc. Other activities might include basic teaching of the alphabet, numbers and counting, reading and storytelling, as well as health and hygiene.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help to feed and care for the children
- Help to teach the children
- Attend to and interact with the children
- Create activities and entertain the children with games
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the development of Zambia's next generation. While this highly rewarding project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with staff and students, though this is not a pre-requisite. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Mwandi is a very traditional Lozi village and was not part of Zambia until its independence in 1964. The residents have retained their customs and are very happy, gentle people. Mwandi is not a “tourist village” it is the real thing, therefore be prepared for a very cultural/traditional experience. They may not have much, but they always have a smile for you! You will be welcomed into the community on your first Sunday, at the United Church of Zambia service. The service is quite different from western church services; there is lots of great singing and past volunteers have found it to be very enjoyable.
Two hours away, the historic town of Livingstone is now becoming known as the ‘Adventure Centre’ of Southern Africa, with various adrenaline sports, unmatched scenery of breath-taking proportions, and many other leisure options for outdoor lovers.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every FRIDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival in Zambia, volunteers will be collected at Livingstone Airport by a representative of the local project team and driven to Mwandi (approximately 2 hours away) where they are delivered safely to the Volunteer House. Here volunteers will receive a full orientation to help them settle in, find out about their volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet their fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill them in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from their volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know the hosts, meet the other volunteers, and ask any last questions they may have.
- Program Arrival Day: FRIDAY
- Program Departure Day: FRIDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, Livingstone, Zambia (CODE: LVI)
Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation for this project is provided onsite, either within the main Volunteer House which has space for up to 20 guests, or within a large canvas safari-style tent. The volunteer house offers dormitory-style shared rooms with shared western bathrooms, a fan and mosquito nets are provided, while the safari tents also have wooden doors, mosquito netting on the windows, beds and electricity. Western style bathrooms with flushing toilets and outdoor hot and cold showers are also available. As the local project manager, who lives on the property is an American who has spent the last 20 years in Zambia, volunteers in this location have a ready–made source of local information and someone on hand at all times to show them around. There is no Wi-Fi available, however there are 2 internet cafes close by.
Three meals per day are provided by the onsite cook who generally prepares western food. Breakfast consists of cereals, bread and spreads, coffee and tea. Lunch is usually sandwiches and salads and dinner is usually a hot meal like cottage pie, curry, pot roast and vegetables.
As is common in developing countries, the standard of infrastructure is probably lower than in your home country. You may experience power cuts and interruptions to the water supply but this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Safaris and Excursions for Volunteers
During your time in Zambia, why not use the opportunity to explore what this amazing region has to offer! If you're looking for an authentic adventure that takes you ‘off-the-beaten-track’, you can take an excursion directly with our local partner organization. As a Love Volunteer, not only will you get a discounted price, but every time you take a trip with them, a portion of the fee is donated to one of the Zambian development projects!
Botswana 4-night/5-day Guided Safari Tour - This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit one of Africa's best safari regions and witness first hand many of the iconic African wildlife species. Participants will stay in lodge style accommodations and get to experience some wonderful activities including a 3-hour safari drive through Chobe National Park and a 3-hour river safari. What a way to cap off your volunteering experience in Africa!
Cost: $850pp (twin share room) or $900 (single room) (prices includes all meals, tea and coffee, transport, game drives, river safari, park entry fees, accommodation, ice for your cooler box, water and some snacks)
Interested? Ask us for the full itinerary of this once-in-a-lifetime Safari!