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More and more young people are showing interest in supporting development projects abroad and getting to know different cultures. Many have completed their education and want to "gain new experiences, do something good, and learn" before starting their studies or vocational training. They aspire to experience the country and its people, and gain a better understanding of their culture and actions.

Against the backdrop of increasing globalization and the growing demand for intercultural competence, various institutions have developed programs within the framework of development cooperation. These programs offer interested volunteers the opportunity to broaden their horizons. The diverse programs cater to school students, university students, as well as seniors who wish to contribute their expertise to support projects.

The Friendship Circle Malawi aims to contribute to this endeavor. In collaboration with various institutions in Malawi and Germany, the Friendship Circle facilitates placements in Blantyre/Limbe, Malawi, for volunteers.


Program for the General Student Exchange (ASA).

The program for the General Student Exchange (ASA-Kommunal) is sponsored by ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL gGmbH. The program can be applied for by both non-governmental organizations and municipalities. Depending on the criteria to be met, the Friendship Circle collaborates with various partners, such as the Cultural Office of the City of Hannover.


In 2015, for the first time, two female students were placed in Blantyre through the ASA-Kommunal program. The Cultural Office of the City of Hannover and the City of Blantyre took the lead in this initiative. In October, Silvia Hesse met with the two landscape architecture students, Lea Becker and Wiebke Witthuhn, in Blantyre for an exchange of experiences, as she had previously worked with the City of Hannover.


Through the joint initiative "weltwärts" by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and civil society organizations, all interested young people between the ages of 18 and 28 have the opportunity to participate in a weltwärts volunteer service in countries of the Global South. Approximately 3,500 young people embark on weltwärts journeys each year, dedicating 12 months to work with a local partner organization in areas such as education, health, environment, agriculture, culture, or human rights.

Weltwärts is a service for learning, with a focus on North-South exchange and joint intercultural learning. Volunteers gain international experience, language skills, and personal competencies.

With the support of the Association of Lower Saxony Educational Initiatives - VNB e.V. in Barnstorf, young people also have the opportunity to complete their weltwärts volunteer year in a partner organization of the Friendship Circle Malawi and Twin City Partnership Hannover-Blantyre e.V.

The partner organizations include the Jacaranda School for Orphans in Blantyre/Limbe, the Teachers Training College in Blantyre, and Stella Maris Secondary School. The preparatory seminars at VNB aim to introduce prospective volunteers to global learning on an equal footing.

Topics covered during the seminars include intercultural communication, living with a host family, and understanding one's role as a volunteer from Germany in an African or Central American country. Requirements: a passion for and experience working with children and young people, creativity, independence, good computer skills (Facebook, websites), adaptability to the rules of the host country, and proficiency in English.

Thanks to the excellent cooperation with the Association of Lower Saxony Educational Initiatives - VNB e.V. in Barnstorf, the Friendship Circle was able to send the first two volunteers to the Jacaranda School in Blantyre/Limbe in 2013.

Weltwärts: Einsatzorte

Jacaranda School

At the Jacaranda School for Orphans, over 400 children who have lost their families due to AIDS live and learn.

The aim of the Jacaranda Foundation is to provide free education to orphaned children, educate them about HIV/AIDS, and support them with healthcare services and daily meals. Volunteers assist the Jacaranda School for Orphans by offering various extracurricular activities and clubs for the students' leisure, such as music and composition clubs, German club, dance classes, acrobatics club, gender club, film club, and more.




2013/2014 Louisa Grotkamp at Jacaranda-School.


The offerings may vary based on the strengths and interests of the volunteers. Additionally, the volunteers contribute to website development, manage the Facebook page, assist with fundraising, and support other related tasks. There are also various spontaneous activities at the school that the volunteers help with. For instance, at the Blantyre Arts Festival, they regularly perform with the choir of Jacaranda School and sell their own products. Just like Louisa and Franziska.




The Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF), with its various performances, music, art, and theater, has become a significant gathering place where many people reunite. For instance, the members of the aware&fair School Club, along with Coordinator Louis Zulu, who founded the school club during the EU project aware&fair, and Tobias Kunze, who came to the festival upon the recommendation of the Friendship Circle and with the support of the Cultural Office, showcasing his talents.

In 2015, Silvia Hesse visited the two volunteers, Till and Sofia, from Jacaranda School, who were also representing the school at the Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF).




In December 2014 and January 2015, when the catastrophic flood devastated entire regions and left over 100,000 people homeless, Till and Sophia informed the Friendship Circle before the media reported about it. Silvia Hesse wrote a letter to Hannover's Lord Mayor, Stefan Schostock, and asked for assistance in launching a fundraising appeal.

The funds raised through these donations were then forwarded to the Jacaranda School to provide blankets and food for the homeless children and families, and to rebuild housing for the children.


For more information, please refer to Sofia's report on the flood.




Collaboration with the Jacaranda School and VNB


Stella Marie Secondary School

The Stella Maris Secondary School offers comprehensive education for girls and advocates for increased educational opportunities for girls and young women. The school seeks support in areas such as sports, computer usage, library, environment, or health through teaching assistance and possibly afternoon activities.


The school is accepting volunteers for the first time. Together, they will assess the interests and skills that the volunteers bring and how they align with the school's needs. The school also aims to achieve agricultural self-sufficiency.


Requirements: Enjoyment in working with children and young people, experience/knowledge in at least one of the work areas mentioned by the school, creativity, patience, willingness to integrate into the local work and living environment, tropical suitability. Accommodation will be provided with host families.




Collaboration with the Jacaranda School and VNB


Blantyre Teachers Training College

The Blantyre Teachers Training College is the only tuition-free institution in southern Malawi that trains elementary school teachers. The teacher training program consists of one year of theoretical education at the college, followed by one year of practical teaching experience in a rural village school. During the theoretical year at the college, students undergo intensive preparation for their teaching career. They acquire subject knowledge as well as pedagogical skills.


The volunteers support the computer applications and basics program, which includes teaching skills such as using Word and Excel, scanning, and navigating the internet. The courses also cover topics like writing a CV, conducting internet research, setting up email accounts, and sending attachments and photos. Additionally, volunteers are encouraged to share ideas for managing the computer lab. Requirements: computer skills, good communication abilities, openness and flexibility, proficiency in English, willingness to adapt to the school system, and respect for the rules and ways of life in the host country.


In the photo, Amanda Badicke, a volunteer from the year 2018/2019, is seen alongside the Director, Stanley Daniel Kwerengwe (far left), and the Head of Department, Joyce Nyirenda (in the middle), during the handover of the projector donated by the Church Administration of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau.




In cooperation with the Association of Lower Saxony Educational Initiatives (VNB) e.V.



gern mit einer Spende



Freundeskreis Malawi e. V.
Sparkasse Hannover
IBAN DE77250501800000233455


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