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Lake Malawi Medical Volunteer Project
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Lake Malawi Medical Volunteer Project

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My Malawi medical experience

My time as a medical volunteer with NAV in the Nkope Village of Malawi was really lovely. I spent my mornings using my medical skills to care for a variety of wounds and infections in mobile clinics. My fellow volunteers and I brought supplies to surrounding villages that may otherwise not have the ability to receive medical care, and the community that we interacted with was so kind, welcoming, and appreciative. In the afternoons, we spent our time educating these communities about various medical issues that were relevant to their care and also taught some village leaders how to care for basic wounds themselves. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Malawi and was touched by the people that I cared for, especially the children! I would suggest this program if you are looking to utilize your medical skills to enhance the lives of those who would otherwise not receive any care at all.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A fantastic experience

I took part in the medical volunteer project for 4 weeks from May to June. I can safely say that Malawi has been one of my favorite countries to visit. The overall vibe of the village, the people (especially the children) have impacted me in more ways that I could have ever imagined. It was a privilege to work with so many dedicated volunteers, staff members, as well as members of the community that are so passionate about what they do. I had a fantastic time learning and growing as the days went by during the adventure. In the years to come, I would love to return to this beautiful community and come back as an even more knowledgeable individual. Thank you to all who have made this experience possible!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The best thing I have ever done!!!

This was the best thing I have ever done in my life hands down! The project work is really helpful, culturally relevant and understanding to the community it is in. The staff team were amazing, friendly, helpful, supportive and nothing was too much trouble for them. Being in Nkope for 3 months and seeing them every day was great and having a translator with me all the time on the project work was fantastic; allowing and making me want to learn more Chichewa. My days consisted of wound care in the mornings, this was so helpful to the community as wounds are very common place with most people having manual jobs and not owning a pair of shoes! It was also necessary as most can not afford transport to hospital so if we were not providing this care many wounds would be left untreated and become more serious. In the afternoons we ran HIV support groups, which were a great place for HIV+ people to come together and learn about HIV, opportunistic infections and how to stay healthy with HIV. It's also great for them to get to know each other, discuss how they were feeling and how they were affected. Also in the afternoon we trained community home based carers these were groups of amazing, enthusiastic, caring individuals eager to learn and make a difference to their community. Doing home visits with the carers also allowed them to take what they were learning and practice it. The evenings were great with the staff around and happy to play games, climb Nkope hill, make bonfires on the beach, watch films or just chat with. The weekends were awesome, well organised and focused on what you want to do with support from the staff to make it happen. We explored Malawi; going on safari and rhino trekking at Liwonde national park, to Lake of Stars music festival on a beach, horse riding on Zomba plateau and kayaking to uninhabited Domwe island and spending the night there! As well as spending many weekends at the beautiful Cape Maclear relaxing, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving in the beautiful lake! I learnt so much about Malawi, health care and myself. I also feel like I got to experience real Malawi and can't wait to return!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

So, where did you go in Malawi ?

Perfect program if you are a pre-med/med school student (don't worry, if you have no medical experience, present volunteers will be happy to show you how to dress a wound + other useful tips ! ) who wants to practice a lot of wound care (dressing big/minor wounds, assisting on burns and fungal infections), shadowing in a hospital, raise awareness on the biggest Tropical killer diseases (Malaria, HIV).
I have also developed my interpersonal skills by working in a team during the afternoon sessions with the lovely HIV support group and the lecturing sessions with the HBC group members (good for shy and non-confident speakers). It felt really rewarding to apply and share the medical knowledge I've acquired during my university years and to see the powerful impact I had on this community and on the bordering villages.
The stay at Nkope and at Mlambe cottage is lovely and you'll also have time to relax during the evening (card games and other activities with volunteers) and weekend excursions which are a lot of fun ! (scuba-diving, safari, hiking Zomba's plateau, etc)
Tips: I stayed 1 month and wish I had stayed longer (1.5 months).

Amasangalala ndi Malawi ! (Enjoy your time in Malawi !)

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

The warm heart of Africa

For the last four weeks, I stayed at Mlambe Cottage, Nkope, being involved in the medical project of NAV. These four weeks have been very special to me. The staff and the local people were welcoming and helpful. We helped the community by teaching them the basics of wound care and (infectious) diseases. The project is sustainable; when I left, the lessons the people learned from me were still in the community.

My time in Malawi has been an amazing experience! After these four weeks I completely understand why Malawi is called 'The warm heart of Africa'!