Volunteers can stay in Mpemba cottage. We can help you arrange this through Mr Majonanga, MOET’s director.


  • The cottage is right on the shore of Lake Malawi – the beach is at the bottom of the garden.
  • It’s 15 minute’s cycle ride from the school (bikes provided).
  • It’s in a fenced-off compound, shared with a friendly Malawian family. Sayiwala (the dad) is the watchman and will help you out with things.
  • You can find the rough location if you type in
  • ‘Makokola Retreat’ to Google maps. (This is a hotel 2 minutes’ walk down the beach – which has wifi)
    It’s about half an hour away from Mangochi town.


  • Fairly basic but fine
  • Kitchen has hob, fridge, and freezer
  • No washing machine – can hand wash in the sink or in the lake
  • 2 double bedrooms, 2 toilets, 1 shower
  • Mr Majonanga will correspond with the owner and propose a price.
  • This depends on how long you’re staying.
  • Likely to be around £90 a month

  • It’ll be down to you to sort your flights out – best to fly to Lilongwe.  On arrival you will have to pay for an entry visa (£65 or $75). See UK Gov Malawi Travel Advice and visit the Malawi high commission website
  • There are buses from Lilongwe to Mangochi town
  • However if you’re staying for a long time it may be best to ask Mr Majonanga to pick you up from the airport and pay him back for petrol.
  • Whilst staying in Malawi you can get around on foot, by bicycle, by bicycle taxi, or matola (public trucks). If you want to get into Mangochi town, Patterson has a truck and is often going to/from there if you need a lift.
  • Minibuses run from Mangochi to Monkey Bay, Lilongwe, Blantyre, Salima, Liwonde, and more.

  • There is a good market a five minute cycle ride away in Makawa, where you can find stalls selling fruit and veg, and shops with bread, rice, crisps (dry food etc.). You can also buy stuff like soap, washing up liquid, washing powder, SIM card credit and more.
  • For more of choice, you can go to People’s, a small supermarket in Maldeco, which you can get a bicycle taxi to. You can get most things there – from baked beans to peanutbutter! They also sell big bottles of drinking water.
  • For getting money out, there’s an ATM at the Standard Bank in Mangochi which takes Visa or Mastercard.

Volunteers in the past have been alone. It’s do-able! The community is safe and welcoming. You’ll get to know people.

  • FOMOE and MOET School cannot take any responsibility for your health during your stay in Malawi – that is entirely your responsibility. However, if you do fall ill when you’re there, Patterson will make sure you’re not alone in dealing with it. There is a good clinic in Koche, very near MOET. For more serious issues, Blantyre hospitals are about 3 hours away.
  • Make sure you have comprehensive health insurance, including emergency repatriation.
  • Contact with lake water carries a risk of bilharzia (a parasitic infection transmitted by snails found in some parts of the lake). We advise that you do some research before going to be aware of this, and visit a clinic while you’re there to discuss protection against bilharzia. It is possible to take preventative medicine. Be aware that the shower water in the volunteer cottage is sourced from the lake.
  • All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

  • There’s wi-fi in the MOET School office, can also be accessed from the library. It’s sometimes slow and unreliable but fine most of the time!
  • The cottage doesn’t have wi-fi but if you feel you need it you can get a data package with a local SIM card, or go across to the Makokola Retreat and buy wi-fi time there.
  • The fastest wi-fi on the lakeshore can be found at Nkpola Lodge which is a short bike ride from MOET.

Make the most of being in Malawi! Cape Maclear and Liwonde National Park are both worth a visit. Ask Kate for more info on how to arrange: volunteering@fomoe.org

  • We ask you to fundraise as much as possible for Fomoe before (and after!) your trip. 100% of the money donated to Fomoe goes to support MOET.
  • Past fundraising by volunteers has included sponsored walks (including Hadrian’s Wall and the 3 peaks challenge), the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge, public charity events, a local radio appeal, and more.
  • For ideas and support with your fundraising, contact volunteering@fomoe.org

  • As well as funds, MOET School really appreciates donated items if you are going out to visit
  • Clothes, bags, shoes and stationery are always useful for the children.
  • Before you go, ask FOMOE about the schools specific needs at that time.
  • If you’re able to find a second-hand laptop that would be amazing.
  • Depending on the airline you fly with, the baggage allowance is usually very generous. For Ethiopian Airlines and South African, it’s 2 bags of 23kg! So you should have plenty of room.

For guidance on what to take, see the packing list below:


  • Phone
  • Boarding passes
  • Passport
  • Travel insurance
  • Cash
  • Credit/debit card
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Clothes:
  • T shirts
  • Shorts
  • Long skirts
  • Baggy trousers
  • Fleeces
  • Waterproof coat
  • Sunhat
  • Swimsuit
  • Health products:
  • Suncream
  • Insect repellent
  • Mosquito net
  • Anti-malaria medication
  • Paracetemol/Ibruprofen
  • Plasters
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Oral rehydration tablets
  • Insect bite cream
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tissues
  • Toiletries (can buy shampoo etc locally)


  • Towels
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Books
  • Torch
  • Clothes pegs
  • String
  • Sunglasses
  • Rucksack

Photos of some of our more recent volunteers at work: