Mpamba Disability Skill Sharing Centre

Butterfly Space Malawi
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Coordinator | Holly
Coordinator | Holly
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Support the centre to motivate, educate and support these adults through learning new skills, or improving on their existing skills.
Work with an inspiring welcoming and friendly group which comprises of people who are deaf, blind, polio victims, people with prosthetics, people in wheelchairs and other disabilities.
Use your existing skills and knowledge (carpentry, brickwork, tailoring, cookery etc) to share with the group, run workshops and promote their vocations within the community.
Occupational therapists and physiotherapists are especially welcomed as volunteers to give consultations, referral exercises and medical advice remotely.
Get involved in this inspiring hub for disabled members to share & learn skills in tailoring, catering, carpentry & building. They also run a nursery school for children. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Many people with physical disabilities are disenfranchised educationally in Malawi.  The Mpamba workshop for disabled adults came into being in 2008 and now has a building developed to create the workshop space.

Mpamba is located 10kms from Butterfly in Nkhata bay.  Volunteers will have to provide their own transport which will cost £1 each way.  The group comprises of people who are deaf, blind, polio victims, people with prosthetics, and people in wheelchairs. The centre is a hub for all member in the district alongside the skills that are taught, tailoring, catering, and building.  The catering group offers a restaurant service with prior notice for large groups, the tailors make uniforms and bags for tourists.  Recently the physically disabled adults have started a nursery class in the workshop teaching fully able children.

There are many opportunities for volunteers at Mpamba. It will be essential to make an initial visit to orientate and liaise with Patrick who is central to the workshop.  Occupational therapists and physiotherapists would be welcomed as volunteers.  The members need consultations, referral exercises and medical advice. They also need home visits and help to get free government assistance and essentially transportation to these facilities.  Liaison with these government providers would be essential and sometimes impossible for the group themselves.

Tailor, builders, carpenters, chefs, and caterers would also be beneficial as volunteers at Mpamba to extend and develop skills in these vocations.

Any volunteer with new ideas for skills training that have business income generating possibilities would be welcome to create a space that has been inspired by Nema craft in Tanzania.

Volunteers can:

  • Provide physio sessions if they are qualified. Occupational Therapists can also offer relevant advice and solutions. 
  • Help with vocational training sessions.
  • Visit and use services offered there and offer support and ideas.
  • Fundraise for building maintenence and supplies.
  • Promote and share the needs of people accessing the centre for future support from volunteers. 
  • Advertise the skills and services they have so that they are more widely used

Typical day

Start early, and have breakfast around 8am before heading to Nkhata Bay centre to catch a shared taxi to Mpamba disability centre where you will be greeted by Patrick, the center's full time and very passionate volunteer.

Return to the lodge in the mid afternoon in time for a swim, some down time and a sundowner before the group meal at 7pm.

Free-time activities

Butterfly Space Lodge is beautifully situated under a canopy of mango trees, surrounded by lush permaculture gardens with a restaurant and bar. Butterfly Space is a 15 minute walk from the bustling ferry port and market town, which has a vibrant market, great night life handcrafted souvenir shops, restaurants and a warm and friendly feel! 

Across the bay is Aqua Africa who offer scuba diving and kayaking, Monkey Business  (on site at Butterfly) is a small Malawian business that offers kayaking and canoe trips, mountain biking and treks. The lodge has a lively bar and pool table, and hammocks overlooking the beautiful crystal clear Lake Malawi. Snorkels are available free of charge at reception for snorkelling. There are lots of beautiful coves and beaches to explore along the lake, and pretty villages that welcome warmly passers by.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 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 (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at vocational skills, medical qualifications level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
All skills are welcomed that could be useful to teaching adults living with disabilities at this vocational centre.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Butterfly Space Malawi

• Dormitory Accommodation*

• Two meals in the restaurant included

• Laundry and cleaning facilities

• Orientation on projects and Nkhata Bay

*If people wish to stay in an individual chalet rather than the dormitory then there are upgrade options available.

Discounts can be discussed and provided for volunteers wishing to volunteer for longer than their initial month. The first month volunteer package is a necessary cost to cover the running costs of the non-profit Butterfly Space lodge and the projects. 


 You will be placed in a 6 bed dorm, males or females, both which overlook the lake. Dorm beds have mosquito nets, a secure locker, and are situated close to our composting toilets and lovely heated outdoor shower overlooking lake Malawi. Upgrades to private chalets are available upon request.

Food & Beverages

2 meals a day included at the Greenview restaurant (usually breakfast and dinner)

Greenview restaurant is a small business run by two Malawian ladies, Beatrice and Memory, here at Butterfly Space Lodge. They are passionate about what they do. The meals are freshly prepared and there are many delicious menu options, both local and international dishes, that cater for all dietary requirements.

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 Mzuzu (ZZU) in Mzuzu. We assist you to find cheap flights to Malawi.
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 Malawi provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Malawi you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malawi.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

This is an ongoing project and volunteers can arrive and leave at any time, although we usually require a minimum of 1 month for development continuity.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$153 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Butterfly Space Malawi 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 Butterfly Space Malawi 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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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Butterfly Space Malawi cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Butterfly Space Malawi.

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Mpamba Disability Skill Sharing Centre

Get involved in this inspiring hub for disabled members to share & learn skills in tailoring, catering, carpentry & building. They also run a nursery school for children.


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