Assistant in Education Initiative

founded in 1999
Tikodane Community Center
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Coordinator | Elke
Coordinator | Elke
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Experience the Chewa way of life, afternoon siestas of course included
Immerse yourself in our cultural traditions
In your spare time you can join activities such as drumming, cooking, soap making and weaving.
You can climb our mountain, get on a biking tour or visit the local market in Katete
You can go to a short vacation into nearby South Luangwa National Park. There you go an a safari and see the Big Five. Tiko volunteers get a discount
Education initiative volunteers will assist in pre-primary and secondary education initiatives that support over 100 students! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 20+
Wheel Chairs

The project

Our mission is to fight poverty in Katete through better education, health and entrepreneurship; helping people to help themselves while maintaining their traditional values. 

Tiko has had an early childhood education centre since 2008 with some 80 children and has helped set up another four in the villages. A secondary school is opening in 2018 with grades 8 and 10 and vocational options for agriculture, carpentry and metal work. There is also an unending amount of informal teaching to do. 

Volunteer work

Education volunteers can work with the pre-primary or secondary education students. Volunteers will assist with lessons including reading, maths, English, and computer skills. We encourage volunteers to also make educational aids for students and keep doing mental arithmetic. There are also extra curricular activities like cooking, sports and traditional dancing. The children in pre-primary will capture your heart. 

The laboratory may be of particular interest for any volunteer. 

How it works

The individual activities are tailored to the skills and interests of the volunteers. We encourage volunteers to pick one of the education projects or a combination of projects. Volunteers can also suggest a program to add to that area of concentration if the inspiration should strike them. Each project does have a different schedule and can also depend so much on the day, the season, what holidays are happening, community events like a headman initiation, how many funerals are going on, etc. It is almost impossible to dictate a typical day because there isn't one. Usually, volunteers establish their own routine

The location

Volunteers will be living at Tiko Lodge which is part of Tikondane Community Centre. They will be able to go into the villages nearby and host seminars at Tiko. You will quickly become part of the Tiko family and community.

Who we are looking for

Volunteers should be open minded, caring, and have a sense of humor. People in Katete are especially nice and volunteers can expect support from the Tiko crew and Elke, Tiko’s director. No special equipment is required; just a lot of patience in the knowledge that changing mindsets is a multi generational job.

We are looking forward to you joining the Tiko family. Zikomo!

Typical day

A typical day at Tikodane depends on the volunteer and the project. Most volunteers work Monday to Friday during the hours of 08:00 to 16:30. However, volunteers decide what schedule is best for their project. In the rainy season for instance they get two days off to work in their own fields. There is a management committee meeting every Monday and intern meeting every Wednesday. Volunteers will be welfared with an afternoon party and we'll go along for cultural safari's when there are tourists. It helps to be used to go by bike, otherwise a bike taxi might do the trick to go to the villages. It gets dark at 18:00 but it's always nice to sit on the verandah to eat African food from the restaurant, but self catering is possible.  

Free-time activities

Free time and entertainment

Katete is a quiet town so you won’t be out partying every night. However, you experience life in a small rural area as many people in Zambia live and get to spend time working with Zambians that you probably won’t find in a city or typical gap year package. There are activities and places to visit nearby and in the surrounding area:

  • Katete market for local food
  • Cultural safari to Kachipu village – A local friend gives an in-depth tour of a Zambian village followed by a vegetarian feast, travelling via oxcart. Gulewamkulu, the Nyau ghost dance, is performed in villages for the whole night. It is recognized by UNESCO in 2005. When dancing, the men are believed to be spirits with magical powers and no longer mortals.The corresponding female dance is called Cinamwali and is practiced every Friday at Tiko - you may want to learn it!  Both give an intriguing and invigorating insight into local culture and tradition. 
  • Bike ride with Tiko bikes
  • Visit St Francis Hospital
  • Hike up Mphangwe mountain
  • Katete nightclub – maybe not for everyone or every week but worth a visit for the experience!
  • Film afternoon on Saturday and Sunda
  • Trip to Msoro cathedral – worst road ever but an adventure to a cathedral build by the first missionaries arriving in Zambia.
  • South Luangwa National Park (3 hours) – You can take a taxi direct (US$ 90) or a bus (US$9). You can stay at Flatdogs Camp sleeping in a safari tent surrounded by elephants and hippos. This is one of the lower end luxury lodges and Tiko volunteers get a discount. Well worth it!



In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at High School, University level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
work with young children
work with mothers
work with young people
arts - drawing, work with clay
office work
discussion groups
small business - costing
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:30 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by Tikodane Community Center

This includes 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and accommodation at Tiko.

The standard package includes all meals, but if volunteers stay longer and decide they prefer to self-cater, the price will be reduced for accommodation only.

NOT INCLUDED: Drinks, transfers, accommodation in Lusaka, and tourist activities  


Accommodation is in the lodge at the community centre. Rooms are simple twin or double rooms, most with ensuite toilet and bath. Volunteers will have their own room unless they prefer to share. You can also pick a dorm bed in our traditional African hut, albeit without toilet and bath

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

We include 3 meals a day at our wonderful restaurant. We are able to provide vegetarian meals. We serve traditional African food as well as some western options like spaghetti. Water is available from the tap and is safe to drink.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka. We assist you to find cheap flights to Zambia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Zambia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Zambia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Zambia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

It takes around 6 hours to get to Tiko from Lusaka, so we recommend spending the night in Lusaka and setting off early at 06:00 – If you come with a later bus, you may have to wait for hours, until it is full.

(Please contact us for information on getting here from Lilongwe, Malawi which is also around 6 hours away)

Lusaka airport transfer: Taxis can be found outside the airport and cost around US$30 to the city.

Lusaka accommodation: There are many backpacker hotels in Lusaka close to the busstation

Lusaka to Tiko transfer:

Bus to Tiko is US 17 one way from Lusaka Intercity Bus station and takes 6-7 hours.

Taxi is US$ 280, if you want to be fetched from Katete.

At the end of August there is a very impressive traditional ceremony taking place near Katete. For that you have to book early.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
11 weeks
19 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$141 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Tikodane Community Center will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Tikodane Community Center during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Tikodane Community Center cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Tikodane Community Center.

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Assistant in Education Initiative

Education initiative volunteers will assist in pre-primary and secondary education initiatives that support over 100 students!


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