Permaculture Internship in Malawi

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Assist in permaculture training to teachers who run after-school permaculture programs

This permaculture internship in Malawi offers the opportunity to gain practical experience in the application of permaculture to drive sustainable development. As an intern, you’ll be part of a small team providing permaculture training to teachers in a rural setting, and you’ll have a hand in the further development of the program.

It’s a great opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into practice, to gain a thorough understanding of the grassroots permaculture project, and to contribute to a worthwhile cause building resilience to climate change. Your role will the tailored to your skills and knowledge, so that you can have an optimum learning experience.

ORGANIZATION

Malawi Schools Permaculture Clubs (MSPC) is a nonprofit that promotes permaculture principles to children in Malawi. Based in Nkhata Bay, in the north of the country, the organization supports primary school teachers in the area who want to run after-school permaculture clubs. MSPC provides all the relevant training and tools for the teachers, as well as a structured club program for them to follow. This includes a resource pack of weekly lessons and activities, basic equipment needed to run clubs, and infrastructure to support and motivate teachers throughout the year.

The aim of the program is to teach children how to care for and regenerate their natural environment, to value their local resources, and to learn how to produce their own nutritious food. MSPC works with 600 children at over 15 different schools, and has plans of expanding the program to other areas of Malawi.

TASKS & REQUIreMENTS

As a permaculture intern on this program, you’ll be an essential part of a small team, and you’ll have a mix of office and field work. Note: planting season is only from October to December

Responsibilities

You’ll have the opportunity to get involved in the following;

  • Further developing the permaculture training provided to teachers
  • Assisting with the training courses on the ground
  • Assisting with developing the weekly permaculture program for children, or arranging extra sessions with the kids
  • Assisting with specific projects happening at schools, such as small permaculture gardens
  • Working in the gardens on-site to plant new crops and species
  • Helping at the schools, especially during May to July where they have open days and visits to other permaculture sites
  • Using produce from the garden to demonstrate new recipe and nutrition ideas during one of the weekly sessions
  • Assisting with landscaping around the site or at the schools
  • Researching permaculture topics and organizations
  • Helping develop data collection and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems
  • Collecting and analyzing M&E data
  • Writing impact reports

Your tasks will be customized to your specific skills and knowledge.

Requirements

  • At least a basic knowledge of permaculture principles
  • Experience with developing or managing permaculture culture would be ideal
  • A passion for spreading permaculture principles
  • A flexible attitude and ability to work in a dynamic environment
  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work independently

WHERE YOU’LL STAY

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.

Communication

Communication

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.

Meals

Meals

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.

DATES & RATES

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 2,149

12 WEEKS USD 2,500

16 WEEKS USD 2,851

20 WEEKS USD 3,202

26 WEEKS USD 3,729

Inclusions

  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation in a dorm room. If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
  • Breakfast and dinner daily for the first month
  • Laundry service
  • Housekeeping service
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship

Exclusions

  • Flights to Lilongwe
  • Transport from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay (approximately 400 km) – we can help you arrange this in advance
  • Transport to the project/office
  • Data package for internet connection (for work and personal use)
  • Meals after your first month; 2 meals (breakfast & dinner) are included for the initial month. For the remaining duration, you can prepare your own meals or opt to extend the meal package.
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Lunch, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing).
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
SCHOLARSHIP & FUNDING

FAQs

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!

QUICK FACTS

LOCATION: Nkhata Bay, Malawi
PROGRAM FOCUS: Environmental NGO
TASK FOCUS: Permaculture, Organic Farming
LENGTH: Min 8 weeks
COST: From USD 2,149

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gain practical experience in permaculture and curriculum/workshop development
  • Contribute to a nonprofit on a mission to teach children how to care for and regenerate their natural environment, to value their local resources, and to learn how to produce their own nutritious food
  • Get involved with school projects and the work in the gardens
  • Gain a full insight in the day to day running of a nonprofit organization
  • Live and work in Nkhata Bay on the banks of lake Malawi (or work remotely if you prefer this)
  • Visit to one of the many islands, markets, craft stores or enjoy the beauty of Lake Malawi
ENQUIREAPPLY NOW

HOW TO APPLY

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

APPLY

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

GET STARTED

SPEAK WITH AN ADVISOR

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

INTERNSHIP MATCHING

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

PAYMENT

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.

CONFIRMATION

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

NEED TO MAKE AN ENQUIRY FIRST?

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!

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