Early Childhood Education
Zambia has reopened to international arrivals and our local team are looking forward to welcoming volunteers! See the 'Additional Info.' section for procedures in place during the pandemic.
This wonderful project was created with the goal of helping to improve the educational opportunities of young children in Mwandi. English is the main focus as it is an essential language in the area and important for securing future employment. Introducing English at this formative age greatly increases a child's chances of gaining a high level of fluency in later years, allowing them to pursue further education opportunities and to seek alternative employment where English is an advantage. Volunteers can also share passions in sport, art, crafts, music and games.
Participants work alongside local teachers in a small Community School, first opened in January 2019 and since expanded to cater for students from pre-school to grade 3. The school relies on fundraising and donations to remain operational and the assistance of international volunteers is greatly appreciated by local teachers and children alike!
Goals of this Project:
- Provide English language skills to children in Zambia
- Improve the future prospects of children with a solid early childhood education
- Promote the importance of education for all
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
Through the help of international volunteers, many of the most marginalised children in poverty-stricken Zambia have a greater chance to receive a quality early childhood education. Volunteers will gain a great teaching and cultural experience, while helping children in true need. The teaching takes place in a small school where volunteers initially either shadow or teach under the supervision of a local teacher. Whilst experience in teaching and education will certainly be advantageous, it is not a prerequisite for these programs, as a volunteers level of involvement within the classroom can be tailored to suit their own skills and interests. Volunteers will be working alongside a local teacher initially, working with pre-school - Grade 3 children. The classes begin at 7.30 am and the last session finishes at 4 pm. There is also an opportunity for volunteers 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 will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Teaching English and other subjects to children attending the school
- Assisting teachers in classes
- Teaching subjects the volunteer has an interest in (i.e. sport, music, art)
- Create games in English for the students and spend time playing with children
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of education. This project welcomes those with experience and/or qualifications in the field of childhood development and education, though volunteers who simply wish to explore an interest in this field are also welcomed as there are many ways you can assist in the classroom. Whist not mandatory, completing a TEFL course prior to joining this project would prove to be highly beneficial. 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. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have 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 compound. 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 in a volunteer compound in chalets. There are 3 chalets ranging in size, that sleep from 4 - 10 volunteers. These chalets have en-suites with hot or cold showers and flush toilets. There are also 2 outside showers that are open to the sky and under a banana tree which you must try.
Fans and mosquito nets are provided.
There is a big volunteer kitchen where volunteers eat and play cards or games, as well as a lovely outside area with tables and benches and many trees for shade. The compound is 3 acres in total and is fully fenced making it very private and secure. There is an onsite cook who prepares lunch and dinner. Breakfast is made available from 6.30am for volunteers to help themselves.
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 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, or you can purchase a local SIM card and data package in the village.
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.
All international arriving flight passengers will need to adhere to the following:
- Provide a negative Covid-19 PCR or serology test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure.
- Follow social distancing, masking and sanitation guidelines.
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!