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Volunteer at Stepping Stones Primary School in Malawi

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Butterfly Space


Stepping Stones International Primary School is based on a belief in the diverse talents of each child and expect hard work, kindness, and excellence from them in return. Stepping Stones provides rigorous academic training and culturally responsive programming. At the school children from disadvantaged circumstances learn alongside more economically privileged peers, international volunteers, and talented Malawian teachers. Children, families, teachers, and staff will share an expectation that after eight years of primary school all students will advance to the top secondary schools, be versed in principles of solidarity, community, and voice, and be prepared to be engaged citizens. The curriculum reflects principles of a holistic education: art, sport, music, drama, agriculture, field trips, community visitors, etc., which are a regular part of school routine.

The student body at Stepping Stones is half fee paying and half non-fee paying students. In other words, for every fee paying or sponsored child, a spot opens up for a child who cannot afford fees and would not have the opportunity otherwise. The free places are based on need, results, and family background, which are selected with the help of local chiefs.


- If you are a qualified teacher:

- Take a significant role by offering trainings to our local teachers and by supporting progressive education.

- Prepare lessons and support their deliveries.

- Setting improvement plans for learners with difficulties.

- Take responsibility of a class for a specific subject.

  • If you are not a qualified teacher:

- Assist teachers in preparing lesson and teaching students.

- Help learners with English literacy and reading.

- Help with specific lessons in different subjects as Maths, Science, Arts, Geography, Language, Physical education, Life skills or Agriculture.

- Teach small groups of learners with difficulties.

- Pass on any of your unique talents to the next Malawi generation of leaders.

  • Arts

Put in place any artistic projects (drama, songs, dance, music, paint, etc.). You can use our hall and stage!

  • Library

Improving our impressive library by adding and categorizing more books.

Improving our library environment with your creativity or any of your ideas.

  • Lunch Program

We are feeding an impressive number of students with daily nutritious food. You can help us to improve and diversify our meals, or support our kitchen staff.

  • School Ground

Enhance our school ground with permaculture, gardening, landscaping, playground, sport ground, etc.

  • Communication & Administration

We are in need to improve different communication tools. Whatever it’s with posters, handouts, social media, website.

Help promotion by taking pictures of our school or our students.

There is always a need to support the headmaster with various administration tasks

  • Youth Club

After knock-off, as you will be back at Butterfly, you can organise daily youth club activities with local children, using our dedicated room, playground and materials.

There other more manual tasks are constantly required like repairing, painting, building and more.

Experience in working with children is beneficial but not crucial as even volunteers without experience can still spend time with the children to practice English skills and introduce new games, help with general maintenance etc.

Free-time activities

Butterfly Space Lodge is beautifully situated under a canopy of mango trees, surrounded by lush permaculture gardens with a restaurant and bar. Butterfly Space is a 15 minute walk from the bustling ferry port and market town, which has a vibrant market, great night life handcrafted souvenir shops, restaurants and a warm and friendly feel!

Across the bay is Aqua Africa who offer scuba diving and kayaking, Monkey Business (on site at Butterfly) is a small Malawian business that offers kayaking and canoe trips, mountain biking and treks. The lodge has a lively bar and pool table, and hammocks overlooking the beautiful crystal clear Lake Malawi. Snorkels are available free of charge at reception for snorkelling. There are lots of beautiful coves and beaches to explore along the lake, and pretty villages that welcome warmly passers by.

The Standard Volunteer Package: US$530 per person for the whole month includes:

  • Dormitory Accommodation*
  • Food allowance up to MK 6500
  • Laundry and cleaning facilities
  • Orientation on projects and Nkhata Bay

*If people wish to stay in an individual chalet rather than the dormitory then there are upgrade options available; Standard chalet +$90

Discounts can be discussed and provided for volunteers wishing to volunteer for longer than their initial month. The first month volunteer package is a necessary cost to cover the running costs of the non-profit Butterfly Space lodge and the projects.

You will receive a daily allowance of 6500MK to use in the restaurant. This is the cost of approximately 2 meals.

Greenview restaurant is a business run by two Malawian ladies here at Butterfly Lodge. They are passionate about what they do. The meals are freshly prepared and there are many delicious menu options, both local and international dishes, that cater for all dietary requirements.

5 More opportunities with Butterfly Space

About Butterfly Space


Nkhata Bay, Nkhata Bay, 211, MW

Mission Statement

Butterfly Space is a registered UK charity and non-profit lodge/organisation based in Nkhata Bay in the North of Malawi, supporting and running a number of community projects in the local area. We have hosted volunteers for 12 years who have helped us build and develop our projects to what they are today. Our ethos is to provide and encourage ethical volunteering and internships to respectfully work with and educate our community but also learn from our community too.


We are working on a range of projects which are diverse, and all ongoing thanks to the support of both our community and volunteers. The projects range from educational, environmental, social and health and we have built and developed nursery and primary schools, an IT and information centre, community radio station, a disability centre and run HIV nutrition and support groups, women's groups and permaculture projects in 22 schools and counting! We are looking to branch out and find volunteers and interns to join us with developing and progressing these projects further, while having the opportunity to stay within a vibrant community to experience the beautiful nature of the Malawian culture in lake side accommodation.

We are seeking adaptable, confident people with initiative and commitment to take the projects to the next level, bring new fresh ideas and inspiration and continue to strive to make the projects sustainable and beneficial to the environment and people involved.
Volunteers have the option to stay at our small independent non profit community-based lodge with lush grounds on the shores of Lake Malawi, a hub that has helped support projects both on the grounds and around the local area in Nkhata Bay.

Children & Youth
Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


Stepping Stones Primary SchoolButterfly SpaceNkhata Bay, Malawi



  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Dance
  • Child Development
  • Physical Education
  • Reading / Writing
  • Storytelling


  • Kids
  • Teens


  • Must be at least 16
  • We usually ask that volunteers stay with us for a minimum of 1 month.

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