MALAWI: Optometry Volunteering Project

Go Volunteer Africa – the leading and largest volunteer travel organization in Africa is facilitating a unique volunteer opportunity in Malawi for optometrists and ophthalmologists in general hospitals for interns and professionals.  Malawi optometry volunteering project offers optometrists and ophthalmologists an opportunity to apply their skills and training to provide eye care to patients alongside the local eye doctors.

Professional volunteers working on our Malawi optometry volunteering project also provide training to local eye care workers and also get involved in local teams outreach services in rural communities. The Malawi optical volunteer placement offers a variety of optional services, where you’ll be able to observe and assist. You can work in a variety of medical departments, where you can either assist or shadow the staff members.

PROJECTS HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Communicating with patients to get detailed case histories
  • Examining the eyes of patients of all ages to detect signs of injury, disease, abnormality or vision defects
  • Checking for signs and symptoms of general health conditions (e.g. diabetes)
  • Using specialist equipment for diagnosis and testing
  • Issuing prescriptions for spectacles or acuvue contact lenses
  • Fitting and checking prescribed lenses in order to correct vision defects
  • Help the blind or low visibility patients with special requirements
  • Offering advice and reassurance about vision-related matters, including the best dry eye treatment
  • Offering help and advice for patients choosing frames and lenses
  • Writing referral communications to doctors
  • Liaising with other medical practitioners and sometimes sharing the care of patients with chronic ophthalmic conditions

Optometrists share knowledge and skills with local optometrists and ophthalmic nurses, while ophthalmologists provide surgical training and skills transfer to local ophthalmologists.  Go Volunteer Africa’s Malawi Optometry Volunteering Project also hosts experienced opticians and optometrists who help out in providing an eye exam and help with frame styling and fitting of the glasses.

PROJECT LOCATION:

Blantyre City, is the largest commercial and industrial capital of Malawi, is in the Shire Highlands and geographical center of the Southern Region of the country and lies 35° east of Greenwich Meridian and 15° 42″ south of the Equator. It is a transport communications node with road, rail and air links to all parts of the country and neighboring countries of MozambiqueZimbabweSouth AfricaZambia and Tanzania. It covers an area of 228 km2.

Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi, on the Lilongwe River. At its heart, woodland trails weave through the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. This sanctuary shelters rescued and injured animals, including lions, monkeys and crocodiles. Shops, bars and restaurants dot the Old Town district. The Capital City district, also called City Centre, is home to the 21st-century, Chinese-built Parliament building.

ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP:

After you have booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at either Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe or Chileka International Airport in Blantyre (So make sure you know the exact location of your project before booking flights). A member of staff from our local partner organization in Malawi will meet you on arrival at the airport and take you to the volunteer guest house or host family which will be your base for volunteering. Both airports services numerous international carriers including the national airline Malawi Airlines. Malawi has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.

ORIENTATION:

Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. Generally, your volunteer orientation is an overview of the project’s mission, expectations and introduction to the local community and project site. Following your arrival in Malawi you will be given a presentation by the co-coordinating project team to prepare you for the work you will be doing.

PROJECT DETAILS:

Volunteering in Malawi with Go Volunteer Africa on our Malawi Optometry volunteering project is a fantastic opportunity to travel the world, make new friends and, most importantly, help in the fight against avoidable sight loss. Optometry volunteering in Malawi is also a great way of developing your clinical and professional skills, as well as life skills such teamwork, problem solving and communication.

Optometry volunteering Africa with Go Volunteer Africa gives you the opportunity to give back to developing communities, while engaging in cross-cultural exchanges and gaining invaluable optical experience abroad to support you in your career as a professional optician.

When joining a optometry volunteer programs in Africa, you will always be in the company of like-minded healthcare students and professionals from around the world, and our in-country team will ensure that you are well supported throughout your  volunteer placement. Go Volunteer Africa makes organizing optometry volunteer trips easy and affordable, and if you have group of volunteer opticians you want to travel with, we can customize a volunteer Africa program for you too.

The type of work you will be allocated will depend to an extent on your own abilities and capabilities, which is understandable given that you will be dealing with patient health and safety. You will be involved in the day-today running of hospitals and clinics, observing or directly assisting the doctors and nurses. If you plan on specializing in a particular field of medicine, we can arrange to place you in a relevant department, to ensure that you receive maximum support.

Volunteers and Interns will be involved with both the business and health care aspects of Optometry. Integral to the internship will be communication and interaction with the community, promoting health, and disseminating health related information.

Go Volunteer Africa promotes charitable causes dedicated to improving the lives of people with vision issues through our Malawi optometry volunteering project. If you are interested in donating any equipment, or money to a good cause, please  note that our local partner hospital uses donations to support clinical services to under-served communities and at-risk patient populations.

Malawi has so much to offer volunteers with its rich culture, festivals, food, art & craft centers, castles & forts, long sandy beaches, national parks, waterfalls, rain forest and other interesting places to visit. Go Volunteer Africa volunteer travel program is an excellent opportunity to combine adventurous African travel with a worthwhile volunteer placement.

Our volunteer projects in Malawi are not all about work, volunteers get opportunities to explore this beautiful part of this beautiful country over the weekends. Volunteer in Malawi with Africa’s leading and largest volunteer travel organization – Go Volunteer Africa.

SKILLS REQUIRED:

For the optometry placement, volunteers need to be training. You will need to be aged 18 years or above at the time of joining the program. Everyone is welcome to apply and a lot of pre-med, medical students, graduates and general people looking to help can apply to join these project. If you are looking to volunteer in a skilled role (for example as a doctor), you will need to provide certificates and your level of experience

GROUP VOLUNTEER TRIPS:

Get some friends together or organize a group from your school and embark on this incredible adventure! Discounts are offered on any group of 5+ participants on Malawi volunteering program.

LONGTERM VOLUNTEER WORK:

Please contact us for more information about our long-term volunteering program in Malawi. We will guide you on the best times of the year, what to pack, and what extra health precautions to keep in mind and all logistics.

VOLUNTEER ACCOMMODATION:

Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house or in a homestay accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday – Sunday. The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed.

The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 – 30 minutes from the accommodation. At some point volunteers might be on the move and hence we suggest also bringing a sleeping mat and sleeping bag/pillow for travel and weekends away on adventures. Bathrooms are usually shared. There is a lounge area for relaxing, reading, or watching movies.

AGE REQUIREMENT:

Our program is for anyone eighteen years and above. We don’t accepts volunteers of 17 years of age and below on this program. There isn’t a maximum age limit, though a reasonable fitness level is necessary.

VISAS:

Visitors to Malawi must obtain a visa from one of the Malawian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or countries eligible for visa on arrival. All visitors must hold passports valid for a minimum of 6 months from the arrival date. Depending on the purpose of visit, a traveler who has a valid visa is granted a Visitors Permit (VP) or Business Visit (BV) at the port of entry valid for 30 days and can be extended up to a maximum period of 90 days. According to a document published by the Department of Immigration, nationals of all countries that are not visa exempt may obtain a visa on arrival. Malawi launched an eVisa application system on 1 November 2019

INSURANCE:

You’ll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won’t be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you’re covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return.

WEEKENDS AND FREE-TIME:

Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Malawi has to offer. We arrange city day tours and long-weekend safaris. No matter what your interests, there is always something for everyone to enjoy!

PROJECT FACTS:

Availability: Project open all year round
Duration: Minimum 1 week commitment
Age Limits: Minimum 18yrs and above
Minimum Age: ————
Dates: Flexible start and end dates
Arrival dates: One day before the start date
Airport Arrival: Airport pickup, meet and greet by GVA partner representative
Working Days: Monday – Friday – 5 days a week, 5-8 hours in a day
Weekends: Travel / Sightseeing NOT included in program cost
Accommodation: Volunteer House or Host Family
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Support: Pre-departure guide, In-country staff available 24/7
Location: Blantyre and Lilongwe
Language: English

PROGRAM FEE: (USD$):

1 Week
$360
Inclusions & Exclusions
Project orientation
Accommodation
3 meals a day
Airport pickup
In-country support
Flights
Visas
Insurance
Personal Expenses
Airport Drop off (Can be arranged upon request)
Apply Now
2 Weeks
$460
Inclusions & Exclusions
Project orientation
Accommodation
3 meals a day
Airport pickup
In-country support
Flights
Visas
Insurance
Personal Expenses
Airport Drop off (Can be arranged upon request)
Apply Now
Any Extra Week
$100
Inclusions & Exclusions
Project orientation
Accommodation
3 meals a day
Airport pickup
In-country support
Flights
Visas
Insurance
Personal Expenses
Airport Drop off (Can be arranged upon request)
Apply Now

APPLICATION & PLACEMENT BOOKING FEE:

Please Note: An application and placement booking fee of $180 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment to secure your placement. 

The fee covers: Administration Costs, Placement Booking & Confirmation, Pre-departure support & documentation, 24-hour international HQ back-up.

For Medical / Healthcare Volunteers: *Hospital administration fee of $100 per month (regardless of lesser duration) is added for all medical placements. Have an inquiry? Contact Us