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Uje Umpampha (Be Well!) HIV Support in Malawi

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Butterfly Space


The Live Well! programme has been running for 6 years and has developed greatly over those years by giving support, education, counselling, a food programme, qualifications and business opportunities that generate income to members of the community living with HIV.

There are some essential and necessary requirements for any volunteer joining this community project. Most importantly volunteers need to be culturally sensitive, discreet, confidential and empathetic with all members of the group. HIV/AIDS still holds stigma in Malawi. All members of the group will have had a positive diagnosis and will all be on medication. Volunteers need to have a mature and serious outlook to these vulnerable people, they need to have already researched and have accredited knowledge on HIV, its treatment and the impact on the individual victims and an understanding of peer support and of the nutritional benefits that a healthy diet can bring.

This project needs a 3 month commitment to ensure development continuity and establishment of strong personal relationships with the group.

The volunteers will need to previously fund raise £120 on top of their volunteer package. This money will buy nutritious food and seeds for the group. This provision is a real incentive to the 10 people who attend each course.

There is already a comprehensive written programme for volunteers to deliver to the group over 3 months, and in the Butterfly community room there is a lot of additional information on nutrition and recipes as well as simple gardening and permaculture techniques. The programme includes a weekly question and answer session where volunteers can research and present information from the chosen questions each week. This is really important as the group meet with people back in their own village and share the information with them which is extremely helpful. On a rotational basis each member of the group takes home a food parcel of nutritional foods, which are sourced locally and they also receive a shopping list and shop for it in town.

It is good to leave the group with a small income generating idea and previous groups have established a massage business, a usipa (small fish) business, eggs and baby basket weaving with the group they worked with. It can be useful for volunteers to have some small business ideas that their current group could set up after they leave.

You can come prepared with new recipes using nutritious local products, some gardening expertise and simple budgeting advice.

If you are ready for the three month commitment then as a volunteer you can supplement the existing programme by;

  • Researching different ways to present information to the group, including role play, lectures or handouts.

  • Researching a potential income generation business idea and assist them in learning the skills required and implementing it.

  • Research and cook nutritional recipes using locally sourced or home grown ingredients that they are not used to cooking.

  • Work with them to improve their existing income generators and help them develop more.

There is a full job description available for further instruction and guidance for this role. It is a more complex but life changing volunteering opportunity.

Typical day

You will be expected to manage your own time and schedule for this project, as it requires volunteers who will be independence and use initiative.

The amount of time you put into this programme depends on your level of involvement and rapport with the group who you are working with, and your level of involvement improving their income generators and practising permaculture principles with the group in their villages. 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.

Advocacy & Human Rights
Health & Medicine


We'll work with your schedule.


Butterfly Space LodgeNkhata Bay, Malawi



  • Family Therapy
  • Counseling / Mental Health
  • Healthcare
  • Nutrition
  • Community Outreach
  • Project Management




  • Must be at least 18
  • This project needs a 2 month commitment to ensure development continuity and establishment of strong personal relationships with the group.

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