Community Development Internship in Malawi


Unique opportunity to be part of a hub for social impact initiatives in a rural community in Malawi

You’ll be part of an eco-lodge that forms the center of a nonprofit network; one that connects a great number of educational, environmental, and health support programs in the local community, and enables important knowledge sharing between these different initiatives. Through effective knowledge sharing, the individual projects can widen their networks, grow their reach, and deepen their impact.

On top of this, the lodge has an information room that provides access to books and computers, as well as workshops on digital literacy. The goal is to allow grassroots projects to benefit from new technologies.

As an intern, you’ll have the opportunity to be part of growing and improving this network of local projects in a variety of ways. You’ll help develop effective communication tools for the community, research ways of connecting with relevant international organizations and institutions, and organize regular knowledge sharing sessions. You’ll also have the opportunity to help develop and run digital media workshops.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Experience running nonprofit programs in the field
  • A chance to develop networking and project coordination skills
  • An opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of how nonprofits operate on a grassroots level
  • If desired, experience in developing and running educational programs
  • International work experience


You’ll be part of a unique social impact program based out of an eco-lodge in Nkhata Bay, in the north of Malawi. The lodge forms the center of a number of social and environmental development projects in the neighboring communities, including health and HIV support groups, permaculture clubs at schools, educational programs, and media development projects. The lodge forms a hub for local community members and volunteers from around the world to combine forces and bring positive development to the area. The initiative is driven by the idea that within an effective network, all these individual nonprofit initiatives will be able to run more efficiently, build key relationships, and strengthen their impact.


As an intern, you’ll be part of a small team that does great work in bringing a large number of community development programs together. The work will be varied and can, to some extent, be customized to your skills, experience, and desired learning outcomes.


Your tasks will likely include;

  • Helping establish a strong network for the larger community
  • Assisting with the development of the information room at the lodge
  • Organizing and promoting regular information-sharing sessions for community members who run social impact initiatives
  • Research international networking and fundraising opportunities for the various nonprofit initiatives
  • Developing and/or teaching workshops on computers and online media
  • Developing efficient communication tools and knowledge-sharing platforms between the various organizations in the community


  • Strong communication skills and a passion for information sharing
  • A passion for social impact work
  • Strong networking skills
  • A good understanding of digital media
  • A flexible attitude and an openness to working in a culturally diverse setting

You’ll stay at a popular backpackers in the northern town of Nkhata Bay. Located on Lake Malawi, with views of palm trees and green-blue water, this lodge has an idyllic location and a relaxed vibe. You’ll enjoy a private beach, beautiful gardens, a lakeside bar, and communal spaces. The rooms are comfortable 6 bed dormitories, although there are options of upgrading to single chalets (at an extra fee). The lodge is a hub for people who are volunteering their time at different communities and environmental projects in the area, so you can expect to share this space with like-minded people.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Malawi is considered to be safe for tourists, however, being a developing country with poverty, there is petty crime. Keep your belongings securely stored and close to you, don’t walk alone in the dark, and report any suspicious behavior that you may see to the accommodation/host organization.



You’ll be able to use your phone in Malawi with roaming data turned on or a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked. Visit Airtel or TNM stands for a SIM and purchase 1000MK ‘Airtime’ (for calls), and a data bundle. Wi-Fi is not an amenity offered in Malawi, so you will need to buy data bundles from a provider for work and personal use.



A meal package is included for the first month that suffices for two meals per day (breakfast and lunch/dinner). For the next months you can either book a meal package or eat locally. There is also a small kitchen available for basic cooking. Meals are prepared through Mkana Cafe, the restaurant on-site. The menu includes many international dishes and is also vegetarian-friendly. Make sure to notify us in advance of any allergies/dietary needs.

Location details

Location details

Nkhata Bay is a lively ferry port on the shores of Lake Malawi with a bustling market which is one of the biggest cultural influences on the area. It offers many activities, such as snorkeling, boat/kayak trips, energetic football matches, and beach ventures. Explore Malawi via coach buses and boats, especially the iconic Ilala Ferry, which has been active since 1951.


Fee Breakdown

Start and end dates of the internship are flexible and will be discussed during the application process. The organization is open to a remote internship, but preference and priority is given to interns on the ground.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

8 weeks USD 1,705

12 weeks USD 2,056

16 weeks USD 2,407

20 weeks USD 2,758

26 weeks USD 3,286

Remote internship – Placement fee USD 525


  • Accommodation (shared)
  • Two meals a day during the first month. After the first month you can decide to book the meal package for the other months as well.
  • Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • Supervision during your internship
  • Regular check ins during your internship with you and your supervisor.
  • Your own account on a career development platform that offers content and courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • On the ground support during your stay


  • Flights to Malawi
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals after the first month: you can prepare your own meals or opt to book the meal package for two meals a day for the following months.
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing).
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
  • Airport transfer to Nkhata Bay (approximately 400 km)
  • In case of late arrival: extra night in accommodation in Lilongwe


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in Malawi.

What can I expect from an internship in Malawi?

You can expect to foster a unique connection with the local community, as well as having many opportunities to explore various projects during your internship. If you wish to know more about what to expect, make sure to read our blog from a previous intern who traveled to Malawi!

How long can I do an internship in Malawi?

The minimum length of our internships in Malawi is two months, but the ideal length is closer to four months, if possible. This ensures you have an adequate amount of time to make a tangible impact. Luckily, the length of our programs is customizable so you can apply for a summer, remote, hybrid, or gap-year internship!

Can I get university credit for an internship in Malawi?

Yes, but you must ensure with your supervisor that your university approves this. You can also purchase transfer credits to add onto your internship experience.

How can I prepare for an internship in Malawi?

Personally, you can prepare by learning about the history and culture of Malawi and reflecting on your internship goals, and we’ll be here to help you with the rest! Ask us any questions you may have about placement logistics, matchmaking, check-ins, advice on visa/insurance, or anything else you may think of. If you wish to know more about preparing for your internship, you can check out our ultimate guide to NGO internships in Africa!

Will I receive a stipend during my Roots internship?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any kind of stipend while interning for a nonprofit organization. Your internship will be unpaid so we’ve put together a few tips on how to fund your internship. There will be opportunities for professional and personal growth and you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable!


LOCATION: Nkhata Bay, Malawi OR Remote
PROGRAM FOCUS: Social impact program
TASK FOCUS: Education, Community Development, Networking
LENGTH: 8-26 Weeks
COST: From USD 1,705 (in-person) / USD 525 (Remote)


“As Butterfly Space has such a diverse range of projects, I assist in a variety of tasks. I have taken on email campaigns, newsletters, social media posting, fundraising, grant research and writing, comprising an overall communications map and strategy, writing website copy, and doing project visits and assessments. I’ve also set up Google Analytics, I’ve done bartending training, and I have assisted on the ground work with certain projects. There is definitely always something to do whether it be for the lodge directly or a specific program.”

Amanda, United States, Community Development Internship


  • Gain unique work experience in community development in a rural African context
  • Use your knowledge of the digital environment to help accelerate the impact made by various nonprofit organizations in Malawi
  • Enjoy a hugely varied and unique set of tasks
  • Live and work in a beautiful part of Malawi
  • Be part of a larger community of interns and volunteers from around the world


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


Community Development Internship

Open for applications

Community Development Internship

  • 8-26 weeks
  • Nkhata Bay, Malawi OR Remote
  • Education, Community Development, Networking
Be part of a hub for social impact initiatives in a rural community in Malawi
Find out more


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