School Permaculture Clubs

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.


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 15 different school clubs, and has plans of expanding the program to other areas of Malawi. Volunteers can help with the development and delivery of the programme.
Gain invaluable experience and knowledge in permaculture principles. The voluntary role can be tailored to each individuals specific requirements and interests.
Help to design, create and maintain the permaculture gardens and nature trail around Butterfly Space Lodge for local school visits and teacher training demonstrations.
Assist the maintenance and development of sustainable environmental practices around the lodge for demonstration during school visits & teacher training, such as drip irrigation and solar water heater
A nonprofit that promotes permaculture principles to children in Malawi, supporting primary school teachers who want to run after-school permaculture clubs. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The programme trains and provides teachers with the information and basic resources they need to run an after school permaculture club for up to 40 pupils.  They are practical based sessions which see the children doing a mixture of work both around the school site and in their own small garden beds, where they harvest for themselves.  There are also different forms of support to the teachers throughout the year, regular teachers meetings, visits to the school site, advice and some basic necessary equipment.  As this project is growing so quickly at the moment often there are a lot of organisational and feedback tasks for volunteers to get stuck into.  

Using the garden as a learning tool for the children has proved very successful, both for food production and environmental issues. With Josie Redmonds’s passion for the environment she has taught many teachers and community members and Permaculture Design Courses have also been held at Butterfly Space which offers another great training opportunity.

If you are interested to volunteer in this area then you can:

  • Work with Francis (on-site permaculture gardener) or Josie in the gardens to plant new crops and species which can be used for the schools. Diversity is the key in Permaculture. 
  • Help out with the organisational aspect of the growing MSPC project;
  • Help at the schools, especially during busy periods where they have open days and visits to other permaculture sites.  
  • Help at the schools during their weekly practical sessions, or arranging extra sessions with the kids.
  • Use produce from the garden to demonstrate new recipe and nutrition ideas during one of the weekly sessions.
  • Assist with data analysis for the increasing number of schools taking part.
  • Help fundraise so that more schools can join this programme.
  • Plant tree seedlings at Butterfly for transplanting later at schools.
  • Paint signs to label more trees around Butterfly and to add to the Butterfly nature trail which is now open for school visits and teacher training. This is also linked to the information in the nutrition folder.

  • Help with landscaping around the site at Butterfly or at the schools.
  • Help to maintain and develop sustainable practices around Butterfly Space for demonstration purposes during school visits and teacher training, such as the drip irrigation system and solar water heaters.

Typical day

Volunteering with the permaculture school clubs offers a very flexible and varied schedule. A typical day could start at 8am, after you have enjoyed breakfast at the lodge, finishing mid afternoon, depending on the tasks set out that day. Depending on term time, the stage of the programme and seasons here in Malawi, the position can vary considerably but there are always plenty of tasks to complete! 

Volunteers will be based at Butterfly Space Lodge, which is used as a hub for the project, and will be working along side Josie Redmonds, Friday and Francis, who are Malawian permaculture professionals who also work with Josie to develop and deliver the project. It is normal to work together in the lobby of Butterfly Space Lodge making plans and organizing school trips and trainings alongside Josie and Francis. 

On weeks with no training or school open days, you will have flexibility to plan and work on your desired areas of the project, work on tasks directed by the permaculture team, or get your hands dirty in the school or lodge gardens!

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 High School level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Practical skills, basic permaculture knowledge, IT skills are desirable for this voluntary role.
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.

Dorm Room
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. 

We ask volunteers to stay for a minimum of 1 month.

Bear in mind that during the summer holiday (July-August) Schools here are closed, however, there is always plenty of planning, garden work and ongoing tasks to be completed during this time!

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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We refund your fees if Butterfly Space Malawi cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Butterfly Space Malawi.

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School Permaculture Clubs

A nonprofit that promotes permaculture principles to children in Malawi, supporting primary school teachers who want to run after-school permaculture clubs.


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