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Mpamba Disability Skill-sharing and Support Centre Voluntary opportunities in Malaw

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Butterfly Space


Get involved in this inspiring hub for disabled members to share & learn skills in tailoring, catering, carpentry & building. They also run a nursery school for children.

Many people with physical disabilities are disenfranchised educationally in Malawi. The Mpamba workshop for disabled adults came into being in 2008 and now has a building developed to create the workshop space.

Mpamba is located 10kms from Butterfly in Nkhata bay. Volunteers will have to provide their own transport which will cost £1 each way. The group comprises of people who are deaf, blind, polio victims, people with prosthetics, and people in wheelchairs. The centre is a hub for all member in the district alongside the skills that are taught, tailoring, catering, and building. The catering group offers a restaurant service with prior notice for large groups, the tailors make uniforms and bags for tourists. Recently the physically disabled adults have started a nursery class in the workshop teaching fully able children.

There are many opportunities for volunteers at Mpamba. It will be essential to make an initial visit to orientate and liaise with Patrick who is central to the workshop. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists would be welcomed as volunteers. The members need consultations, referral exercises and medical advice. They also need home visits and help to get free government assistance and essentially transportation to these facilities. Liaison with these government providers would be essential and sometimes impossible for the group themselves.

Tailor, builders, carpenters, chefs, and caterers would also be beneficial as volunteers at Mpamba to extend and develop skills in these vocations.

Any volunteer with new ideas for skills training that have business income generating possibilities would be welcome to create a space that has been inspired by Nema craft in Tanzania.

Volunteers can:

  • Provide physio sessions if they are qualified. Occupational Therapists can also offer relevant advice and solutions.

  • Help with vocational training sessions.

  • Visit and use services offered there and offer support and ideas.

  • Fundraise for building maintanence and supplies.

  • Promote and share the needs of people accessing the centre for future support from volunteers.

  • Advertise the skills and services they have so that they are more widely used.

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
People with Disabilities


We'll work with your schedule.


Mpamba Disability CentreButterfly SpaceNkhata Bay, Malawi



  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Business Development
  • Community Outreach
  • Special Needs
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Social Work




  • Must be at least 18
  • Minimum 1 month
  • Any skill or trade that can be taught to Malawians living with disabilities could be beneficial in this role, as well as support in their ongoing endeavours. Occupation Therapy, Physio Therapy advice can be beneficial within the community.

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