Our construction projects require labor and our village benefits from interactions with foreigners. We’ve created a way to combine that need with that benefit. Many of our missions have solicited participation from volunteers across the world. Attracting volunteers, however, is challenging. Between the cost they must bear to get to Africa, and the time they need off from work to devote to a trip of this magnitude, to the intestinal fortitude required to endure experiencing extreme poverty, heat, and 3rd world working conditions – there are innumerable stumbling blocks between expressions of interest and actually showing up at the airport.
Our solution to this recruitment challenge has been voluntourism.
We sell this opportunity through our stories, our film, and our photography. We promote this opportunity as once in a lifetime, as experiential travel, as bucket-list quality, emotional adventurism, and we create unique African treks after working in the village, which draw interest from curious globe-trotters eager to have a guided tour of a place they’d be unlikely to independently visit.
From Mauritius, to Capetown, to Kenya, to Zambia, we have offered post-Malawi excursions to entice all tastes and interests. Some prefer a safari, some a chopper over Victoria Falls, and some wine tasting near Capetown. Everyone who experiences Africa wants to come back because its diversity and raw beauty are unmatched. Combine that with unforgettable personal experiences with the children of Malawi and you create an unforgettable experience few could replicate without Youth of Malawi’s experience and knowledge. The volunteer clearly makes out well, while Youth of Malawi gets the creativity, hard work, and compassion of some of the most loving people, all eager to make a difference rather than go on yet another dull Caribbean vacation. The week after the volunteer portion has also proven invaluable for decompression from the emotional strains of meeting extremely vulnerable Malawian children, but also for brainstorming ideas for future programs and sustainable development.