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Media and Community Radio Station Volunteering Opportunities

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Butterfly Space


Kandoli FM is a community radio project in Malawi. Based in the fishing and farming community of Nkhata Bay it is based on community involvement in the running and programming of the planned output. Most of the output will be in the local language Tonga, with some English and Chichewa, the national language. As part of Malawi’s Northern Province, there is a feeling of being neglected and outside the mainstream, with a strong awareness of the importance of regional culture, Tonga language, music and dances. Spoken English is popular and prevalent. A placement at Kandoli FM would provide internees with the opportunity to work with people from another culture, to experience life through their eyes and to make friends and learn basic broadcasting skills.

At present the radio is not currently on air, requiring an injection of capital to get the mast and transmitter. We have made considerable progress and now has a building which is being renovated for use and now has two functioning studios and training area. This, coupled with the media room at Butterfly Space offers the opportunity for a student or volunteer to get involved in several areas as a way to drive this project forward.

Internships/ volunteer positions available in three main areas (which are listed in the "responsibilities" section below), and the sub-sections can be different areas of focus depending upon the skills of the volunteer.

  1. Fundraising and profile raising of the radio.
  • Media & Communications: Gain valuable experience in communications, social media and networking in this emerging community based organisation. This involves a wide range of tasks, including content writing, social media, public relations, and fundraising, so you can expect a multifaceted experience. At the same time, you'll get to be involved in some of the projects on the ground, which will give you a good understanding of the way charitable projects run. It’s a great opportunity for students of Communication Studies, Media Studies, Journalism, Fundraising, or related fields.
  • Business sponsorship or programme sponsorship : Further developing and following up sponsorship packages for local, national and international businesses with the long term aim of radio support. Research into organisations and support possible for the sponsorship linked to the development and production of certain programmes
  • Studio and Infrastructure Support: Although Kandoli FM has been completely rewired throughout, help is still needed with certain structures. Both studios are still in need of soundproofing and the kitchen is in need of refurbishment. This would suit an intern with basic DIY skills who would also benefit from working with local volunteers and gain the opportunity to develop basic broadcasting skills with the training provided by Kandoli FM alongside DIY.

2. Commercial activity and Advertising

  • Radio Commercial Production: Kandoli FM is dependent on the selling and production of commercials for broadcast as a proportion of its income. Most of this will take place in the studio at Kandoli FM. This is an opportunity to work with Kandoli FM members in the production and planning of commercials for broadcast using the studio and recording equipment under the supervision of trained Kandoli FM volunteers. Commercials will be for both local and national businesses, educational and non-government organisations and will consist of set packages and durations based on an agreed rate card.
  • Radio Commercial Marketing: An opportunity to work in the field alongside Kandoli members to sell Air time to local businesses and organisations at set rates and time frames. This gives the internee the chance to interact with the local area and its people and to understand the business world of Nkhata Bay. It will be important to liaise with the Commercial production team and work alongside them to ensure the commercials meet the requirements of the buyer, with agreed packages determined by Kandoli FM Rate Card

3. Journalism and reporting skills

  • Sports and News Reporters: Sport and News play an important part in the life of the Nkhata Bay community, local, national and international. Regular coverage of a variety for sports and especially local news creates a great demand. Football dominates other sports and Kandoli FM will include coverage of other less publicised sports, e.g. women’s boxing and women’s netball. Local school teams also play an important part in local coverage. Sources of news are quite varied from local journalists (stringers) to national newspapers and broadcasts. Local communities are also an excellent source of news.
  • Radio Listening Clubs: Radio Listening Clubs are a popular way of involving people in the villages in Community Radio throughout Africa. These are set up by people in a village who are encouraged to listen to a specific radio programme together as a group and to discuss the content and record their contribution which is then broadcast on the local radio station. Feedback from other groups formed in different villages creates a network of people connected through the radio. Village people are trained in recording their feedback or a volunteer from the radio station is present to record and take back their contribution.
  • Journalistic stories from the villages: Investigating and liaising with the local community to uncover and report on interesting stories from Malawi. Traditionally there has been an oral tradition to the recording of culture and history and so to work with budding journalists to help investigate and choose relevant stories as well as the skills needed to bring these stories into the IT medium.
  • Recording of Music and Songs: There is a strong culture in Nkhata Bay of local people making music and writing their own material. This is something that Kandoli FM encourages. Groups of young people are recording their own music on a regular basis.


The following outline the requirements for the roles as detailed above.

1. Fundraising and profile raising of the radio.

  • Media & Communications, Business sponsorship or programme sponsorship & Studio and Infrastructure Support: An interest in broadcast radio and learning appropriate skills. Experience of basic DIY and practical experience. Experience or knowledge of researching and applying for sponsorship, although not an essential requirement, would be a bonus.

2. Commercial activity and Advertising

  • Radio Commercial Production: We are looking for creative and enthusiastic individuals to develop ideas based on plans from the marketing team. You will be encouraged to develop your own ideas for suitable commercials. Use of recorders and knowledge of simple editing techniques would be useful but are not essential as these can be learnt .Some understanding of the function of radio commercials would be useful. It will be important to liaise with the marketing team during the process of commercial production.
  • Radio Commercial Marketing:. Good people skills, a pleasant friendly manner and an understanding of the nature of selling. Radio technical skills are not necessary and an understanding of the packages and, set rates and time frames will be taught before any selling takes place.

3. Journalism and reporting skills

  • Sports and News Reporters: A keen interest in Sport and News. Some ability to write short news/ sports stories and to use a computer. Audio recording training will be given before any expectation of broadcasting live or recorded. You will work alongside an experienced sports / news reporter and be encouraged to take part in broadcasts when suitable. Training in basic interviewing skills will also be available as required.
  • Radio Listening Clubs & Journalistic stories from the villages: Good people skills. An interest and respect for different people and their cultures. An ability to see the world through the eyes of people in Nkhata Bay. Skills with basic portable audio recorders will be taught before visiting the villages and helping to set up new Radio Listening Clubs alongside experienced Kandoli FM volunteers.
  • Recording of Music and Songs: Experience of recording music using basic equipment. A willingness to share basic music recording skills with local people and an opportunity to help local people broadcast their finished product.

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.

Arts & Culture
Media & Broadcasting


We'll work with your schedule.


Kandoli FMButterfly Space LodgeNkhata Bay, Malawi



  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Business Development
  • Professional Development
  • Video Production
  • Journalism
  • Storytelling




  • Must be at least 18
  • We usually encourage a minimum of 1 month while working with our projects.
  • Background in Media, Journalism, business or community development would be useful for this voluntary position.

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