Want to Volunteer?
Throughout the year MOET School hosts various volunteers and visitors who bring their own special skills to the school for anything from one week to one year.
Anyone wishing to visit the school to learn about teaching techniques, sports enjoyed, singing and gardening and/or permaculture and natural medicine are very welcome.
Accommodation is available nearby at a reasonable rate.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and look at our Volunteers section on the News page for first-hand accounts.
Over the years MOET has had volunteers from the UK, Germany, Canada, USA, Italy, and more. There is plenty to help with at the school – whether it’s teaching, admin, permaculture, sport – however, you can make yourself useful. You will be working alongside teachers and staff, under the guidance of Mr Majonanga, the school’s director. As well as helping out at school, volunteers can be very useful by carrying out tasks on behalf of FOMOE and maintaining contact with us here in the UK.
Make a Volunteer Enquiry
Photos of some of our more recent volunteers at work:
What you need to know:
- Volunteers are not required to pay anything for the volunteering itself. The only costs are your own travel to Malawi, (which you will have to arrange), immunisations, DBS check (£7), accommodation (which FOMOE can help to arrange: most visitors stay in the volunteer cottage) and some spending money
- Volunteers must be over 18, and committed to making a contribution to the school’s work.
- We encourage volunteers to fundraise and raise awareness as much as possible for FOMOE before going out to MOET
- Whilst volunteering we expect regular updates/photos/videos to use in our marketing to inspire others
- In the past, we have found that the volunteering programme has been really worthwhile for both visitors and the school. MOET is a warm-hearted, lively and welcoming place.
- You’ll be sure to have more questions all this! MORE INFORMATION can be found in our Volunteering FAQs below.
- Want to know more detail?
- Contact Johannes Lau– past volunteer and now FOMOE’s Volunteer Co-ordinator. Please send him an email: email@example.com
What will I be doing?
This will vary depending on your skills, what you’d like you get involved with, what the staff need help with, and how long you’re staying.
It is likely to include:
WORK WITH THE CHILDREN
Helping in classrooms.
- Most lessons are taught in English. Children in Standard 5 and upwards are usually good enough to communicate with! It will be particularly useful for you to help in English classes. If you’re comfortable with taking some of your own lessons, the teachers and children appreciate this! The teacher may allocate you a certain topic. Bringing your own ideas for new ways to learn and teach will be welcomed.
Helping with school clubs
- School clubs meet on Thursday afternoons. There is plenty you could get involved with: including AIDS awareness, drawing, reading, permaculture, and more. See the video on Fomoe’s Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/2INiupFAYco
- MOET has a vocational skills programme in the afternoons for children in Standard 5 and upwards. The school has a few computers and volunteers can be really useful by teaching basic IT skills to small groups at a time.
- The school also has a piano – if you’re at all musical, MOET choir needs someone to revive it! See Fomoe’s Youtube video: https://youtu.be/2INiupFAYco
If you’re into sport you could to get involved on Thursdays or at breaktime – it’s mainly netball, basketball and football, but the kids (and teachers) love learning new games too!
- The school encourages its former students to come back to MOET for extra support. It would be really useful to be able to teach IT skills to these guys.
- As well as in school, MOET delivers permaculture training and resources in surrounding villages. See ‘The Projects’ section of the FOMOE website. This is something you could go along and contribute to as a volunteer.
- Because we’re a UK-based charity, we find it really useful to have a volunteer out in Malawi! In the past, volunteers have helped with admin in the school office, improving communication for the secondary school sponsorship programme, and providing news and photos for the website. We will agree a list of FOMOE tasks with you before you go.
- So… there’s lots for volunteers to do! Your own interests, ideas and contributions then will also be welcomed. It’s up to you how much you take on. MOET staff are really grateful for the help, but you’re not expected to stay all day every day.
Where will I stay?
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
What about travel?
- 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 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malawi/entry-requirements, and the Malawi high commission website : http://www.malawihighcommission.co.uk/index.php/visa
- 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.
Where can I shop?
- 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.
Can I go on my own?
Volunteers in the past have been alone. It’s do-able! The community is safe and welcoming. You’ll get to know people.
What happens if I fall ill?
- 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.
Is there internet access?
- 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.
What is there to do in my free time?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Should I do some fundraising before I visit?
- 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, volunteer trustee Johannes Lau will be happy to help.
What donated items can I bring with me?
- 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.
What should I pack?
For guidance on what to take, see the packing list below:
- Boarding passes
- Travel insurance
- Credit/debit card
- List of emergency contacts
- T shirts
- Long skirts
- Baggy trousers
- Waterproof coat
- Health products:
- Insect repellent
- Mosquito net
- Anti-malaria medication
- Hand sanitiser
- Oral rehydration tablets
- Insect bite cream
- Antiseptic wipes
- Toiletries (can buy shampoo etc locally)
- Clothes pegs
Some of our MOET Volunteers
“I feel good at MOET. The work was structured well and I knew what to do and got supported very well. At the beginning I was scared when I thought about the duration of my stay which is 12 months. But when I acclimatised, I felt happy to be at Moet.. My work included assisting the Standard 5 teacher. It can be hard, but it was good work. Sometimes there were comprehension problems, but only with the learners. I already could experience different things: a party at MOET, a trip with the whole staff, a marriage of one of the co-workers, and also a funeral.”
Johannes Lau (19)
“Having been at MOET a whole year, I can clearly say that Patterson, the teachers, staff and children turned the school into a second home for me! It was an amazing experience to see my impact on disadvantaged students and to watch their personal development during the 12 months I spent there.”
“I spent 3 weeks at MOET, working with the children and doing sport. I feel really lucky to have had this experience and I won’t forget it! “
“Summing up my experience in just a few sentences…that’s tricky! A lot of people will roll their eyes and say it’s cliché but it was honestly a life changing few weeks. I think it’s something we should all try and experience because it opens your eyes to the world and it’s very humbling to meet such beautiful, happy and welcoming people who’re faced with such tough circumstances. It’s a great feeling to be part of a project like this and even if you’re only there for a few weeks you instantly become a part of the family.”
“My month at MOET was a great experience that I would thoroughly recommend, the school’s students are extremely welcoming and being able to pass on your skills is super rewarding.”
“I fell in love with MOET on my first trip to Malawi 4 years ago….
I spent 3 months there, dividing my time between a number of activities at the school including teaching English but mostly involved with teaching permaculture (a then recent new passion for me) and being involved with the ANAMED programme and along with Victor and Patterson’s son Patron and the school kids designing and planting up an ANAMED medicinal garden underneath the watchful eye of a beautiful Baobab tree at the back of the school property. It was really exciting this summer (2016) to see how a number of the then seedlings had actually made it through the ravages of the floods and drought to flourish as trees being harvested for Morninga and Neem powders, amongst other things….”
Sue and Mike (70-something)
“We chanced upon MOET during a trip to Malawi with MACS organisation in 2005. This included visiting a number of schools where dedicated teachers were trying their best to educate classes of over 60 pupils with few resources.
MOET immediately felt different. The classes were small and I clearly remember a spelling tree in the corner of the room, a real branch with words hanging from it – a visual aid. Patterson had a vision of a school where children were educated in small groups and was open to all religions. The parents or guardians were welcomed and encouraged to participate in school events. This was the case at a school leavers’ party when we were at the school. All were invited to share the food, speeches and party. Parents and guardians were at the centre of this.
Children are being prepared for life. Permaculture is a big part of their education as is academic study and physical education. Patterson has a slight fault there as he has been known to adapt the rules of volleyball to suit the team he is playing on!!!
When the students leave MOET there is a focus on their future work and education. Past students are welcome back to the school too.
It is a welcoming, friendly, positive and ever evolving school.
We visited again in May 2015:
Together with Hilary Hegarty and Rosemary Wright, we returned to MOET for the first time in 5 years in May. We were impressed by the growth of MOET and the development of expertise within the staff team.
More than anything we were left with the impression of pupils and staff working together very positively and having fun while doing so. This was well demonstrated by the Sports Day, when staff and pupils competed together and between each other. The pupils won at volleyball and netball! The highlight was the mini run for staff and pupils, with Patterson and Charles doing warm ups with the runners, before the start. The activities ended with a presentation ceremony, with awards for the leading runners and teams, a good day was had by all pupils and staff.
Yes we did some work as well with classes, pupils and staff. With the teachers there was some maths in-service looking at different ways of learning for pupils, with some practical approaches, combining learning and fun. In addition and with help from the teachers, Blessings and Kate Barnard, we looked at ways of making the library books more accessible for young pupils, to help with reading. This is work that Kate and Blessings have continued.
Our thanks to Patterson, Charles, the teachers and pupils for the chance to see the real progress that MOET is making for all its community. Keep up the strong development. A special mention of Kate, who is showing the difference a talented volunteer can make.”