Why volunteering in Mozambique?

Because it will change your life. There are only a few places on earth where opposites meet so much: black and white, poor and rich, right and wrong, love and hate, corruption and justice, civilization and wilderness. Mozambique is still untouched by mass tourism, but that will change soon. Although the economy and infrastructure are in the process of being built, Mozambicans are hit by natural disasters, droughts and famine. With kululeku, social aid arrives where it is really needed.

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Time in Africa will change your life because there are not many places in the world where contrasts are so close together: black & white; wealth & poverty; justice & injustice; love & hate; corruption & fairness; civilization & wilderness.

Mass tourism has not yet reached Mozambique. Bazaruto, the only underwater national park in the country, offers untouched nature, miles of deserted sandy beaches, an intact underwater world with unique coral reefs and extremely friendly and warm-hearted people. Take the opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful spots on earth and gain experiences that will last a lifetime.

If you are looking for a special, unconventional travel destination, you have come to the right place! Kululeku currently offers 6 projects, which can be combined with each other. You will find the respective requirements below.

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Brief overview

Age: We welcome applications from young and old – from 18 years of age
Language skills: Good knowledge of English
Program start: At any time
Duration: from 2 weeks (the longer the better, so that the students can get used to you)
Possible applications:

  • English lessons at one of our partner schools
  • Hospitality Project
  • IT project
  • HIV/Malaria
  • Kindergarten
  • Construction of social facilities

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Prerequisite: open personality, who enjoys getting to know a foreign culture, wants to get involved and actively participate in our social projects.
Accommodation: safe and modern kululeku house with WIFI, air conditioning, central location, 200 meters from the beach
Best time to travel: all year round. (dry season March – November / rainy season December – February)
Highlights: Bazaruto Archipelago, 2 miles reef, red dunes of Vilanculos, whale sharks, deserted beaches

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Apply now!

What is included

✓  Accommodation
✓  Catering
✓  Internet
✓  Transfer to projects
✓  Cooking of local dishes
✓  House staff

NOT included

– Flights
– Visa
– vaccinations
– Nightlife activities such as bars, restaurants, clubs
– All leisure activities

Projects

All projects can be combined with each other and you will discuss the possibilities with Vado on site when and where you want to be. The availability of the individual projects depends on the demand and the respective holiday season. On average you will work 25-30 hours a week.

English lessons in the Primary School:

What?    

You speak good English, enjoy sharing your knowledge and like working with children? Here you teach English in one of our partner schools. The children are between 6 – 16 years old. The 15 or so teachers need your support in almost every subject – maths, English, physics, biology, sports and of course English. Of course you can teach in the subject you like best! Our volunteers support the teachers in different subjects, help the children in small groups to understand the teaching material, give private lessons and are role models for the children. If on some days no teacher is available (this happens), you will always teach in teams, together with our manager Vado. So you are not alone!

Where?    

The schools are both located about 15km outside of Vilanculos in rural and very poor areas. A transfer will take you there and pick you up.

When?    

The day starts at about 7:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm, so there is still enough time to explore the surroundings or prepare for the next day of classes.

Why? The schools are overcrowded and there is a lack of qualified teachers. In some classes there are up to 150 students, there is no time for individual supervision, so 50% of the children drop out of school after grade 5. We would like to change that. Only through education can a long-term improvement in living conditions be achieved. Furthermore, cultural exchange is immensely important for the children.

Note:

  • From November – January are holidays in Mozambique. During this time the children still go to school when our volunteers are teaching.
  • If you don’t speak Portuguese, it only makes sense to teach the children from the age of 10 years, because only then they start to learn English.
  • During the breaks you just spend time with the children. You will see that they will quickly see you as a role model, want to learn from you and spend time with you.
  • No experience in teaching is necessary, all you need is creativity and proactivity. We will help you to get used to the role that offers more resistance to the children and to you.
  • All projects can be combined with each other and you will discuss the possibilities with Vado on site when and where you want to be.

Hospitality

What?      

You have experience in hotel management or catering? Here you help a hotel management school to prepare students (adult education) for their practical phase. Since Vilanculos is a tourist destination and there are hardly any manufacturing industries, young people without English skills have little chance on the job market. Through your voluntary work you are setting a milestone to give the children and their families a better future.

Where?      

We work together with two hotel management schools within Vilanculos.

When?       

The day starts at about 7:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m., so there is enough time to explore the surroundings or to prepare the next day of classes.

Why?

There is no economy or industry in Vilanculos. Most of them work as fishermen, farmers or on the market. Those who would like to earn a little more have to speak English or leave their families and work in the oil industry far away in the north of the country. As tourism is developing very fast, the demand for well-trained personnel in the large resorts in and around Vilanculos is also increasing. Often there is no recruitment because the English language skills are not sufficient. With this project we would like to change this. The students are very eager to learn and motivated, as they have already gone a very long and difficult way by completing primary and secondary school.

Please note:

– On some afternoons the demand is so great that we rent rooms in the restaurant next door and continue our English lessons there. The door is open for anyone who wants to come.

– During the breaks you simply spend time with the children. You will see that they will quickly see you as role models, want to learn from you and spend time with you.

– No experience in teaching is necessary, all you need is creativity and proactivity. We will help you to get used to the role that offers more resistance to the children and to you.

– All projects can be combined with each other and you will discuss the possibilities with Vado on site when and where you want to be.

Kindergarten

What?    

Do you like interacting with kids 3-6 years olds? Here you will work in our partner kindergarten and learn, play and sing with about 150 toddlers. Furthermore you help to prepare lunch.

Where?       

The kindergarten is located in Vilanculos.

When?   

The day starts at about 7:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm, so there is enough time to explore the surroundings or to prepare the next day of classes.

Why?

There is a lack of staff to look after the children. In addition, it is an enrichment for the children to experience the cultural exchange at an early age and to get to know new ways of communication and games.

Please note:

– The children mostly speak ONLY Portuguese. Nevertheless, communication is possible through the teachers and kululeku staff. Portuguese language skills are therefore not a requirement!

– All projects can be combined with each other and you will discuss the possibilities with Vado on site when and where you want to be.

IT

What?      

Here you impart simple IT skills to the pupils and students. Thanks to a donation from PWC, we have 5 computers at our disposal with which we teach in small groups. You don’t have to be an IT professional to support this project.

Where?     

Partly we teach in the primary and secondary school, partly also in the hotel management school or in a nearby restaurant where everybody can participate.

When?      

The day starts at about 7:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm, so there is still enough time to explore the surroundings or to prepare the next day of classes.

Why? 

The Mozambican curriculum does not provide for IT lessons. There is no running water or electricity in the areas where our partner schools are located. So there is not even a computer to think about. Nevertheless, the skills are extremely important for later job prospects. Thanks to generous donations and only through our volunteers, we can give the children and young people a little insight and familiarize them with the basic programs.

Please note:

– this project is only possible in combination with another project, because the Mozambican curriculum does not provide IT lessons and we can only teach at the fringe times and in free hours.

– During the breaks you simply spend time with the children. You will see that they will quickly see you as role models, want to learn from you and spend time with you.

– No experience in teaching is necessary, all you need is creativity and proactivity. We will help you to get used to the role that offers more resistance to the children and to you.

HIV/Malaria/Health

what?   

You support us in the education, prevention and spreading of HIV and malaria and inform young and old about the risks, danger spots, symptoms and treatment options. You are also responsible for our local mosquito traps. You will cooperate with the public hospital in Vilanculos. Portuguese language skills are required!

Where?     

Mainly in the remote communities, partly in Vilanculos, partly in the schools

When?     

The day starts at about 7:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm, leaving plenty of time to explore the surroundings or prepare for the next day of classes.

Why? 

HIV and malaria are the two most widespread and deadly diseases in Mozambique. We want to change that. Through education the spread and infection rate can be minimized many times over. We work together with a German mosquito specialist who supplies us with educational material and mosquito traps.

Please note:

– Very good Portuguese language skills are required!

Construction work

What?       

You like to lend a hand and are actively involved in the implementation of our projects? Every year we implement a building project: in 2020 it is the construction of our own private (but state-approved) school, which will be available free of charge for 200 students. Kululeku is building classrooms, sanitary facilities, teaching materials and the school uniforms that are obligatory in Mozambique. This will enable 200 children to attend school every year in the future.

Where?      

About 10km outside of Vilanculos.

When?       

The day starts at about 7:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm, leaving enough time to explore the surroundings or prepare for the next day of classes.

Why? 

Many children cannot attend school because they lack the financial means. We want to change that! With a private school that is 100% free for 200 children/year.

Notice:    

this project takes place only several times per year. Besides the construction of the school building, we also support various social construction projects during the year. If you are interested or have special skills in engineering, electrical installation, energy production or similar, please contact us individually.

The next steps

As soon as you have decided on us and one of the projects, you apply here via our application form. We will get back to you within 48 hours and hopefully give you positive feedback about free places. If you like, we will make an appointment for a phone call – Vanessa will be happy to answer all your questions and tell you more about kululeku and our work. In the next step you will look for suitable flights, either to Maputo or to Vilanculos (for more information on how to get there, click here). After you have booked your flight, we will send you the necessary documents. With these documents you can then take care of your visa (more information about the visa you can find here). Please note that we require a deposit of 15% in order to have more planning security from our side. This 15% is due after you have received the documents from us.

Prices

23€

per day

– ask for a discount for longer stays (over 30 days)

Why do I have to pay money for my volunteer work?

The daily flat rate of 23€ is to cover our fixed costs, which we have for a modern house in a safe environment including staff, 3 balanced meals per day and transport of more than 30km per day to and from the project locations.

We also often wish that we did not have to set up this flat rate and that we could also remunerate your efforts. Unfortunately, sustainable development aid is a very costly project, because we do not get paid for your and our services.

All cooperation on services for activities you undertake during your stay will be carried out by local providers and thus benefit the community. We refrain from using European “leaders” and local helpers. In recent years we have succeeded in training and developing the Mozambican staff to such an extent that kululeku is organized and managed 100% by local people. We are very proud of this!

Accommodation and Food

The house is located in the south of Vilanculos, 200 meters from the beach (suitable for swimming), not far from the central market, the Baobab Backpackers and the diving center. There are numerous local bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. You can reach things of everyday life on foot. The schools are about 15 km outside the village in the rural areas. A car or tuk-tuk will take you from the house to the project site every morning and afternoon.

The house is modernly furnished (shower, toilet, air conditioning, mosquito nets over each bed, fully equipped kitchen, TV) and is located in a protected and safe environment in the midst of local families.

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The house consists of a large living and dining area, an open kitchen, two private double bedrooms (1 king size bed) with a shared bathroom and a 6 bedded room with its own bathroom. In front of the house there is a veranda and a barbecue area. We share the property with a local boat tour operator to the islands, so you will automatically have lots of contact with the local people.

Our housekeeper comes every morning, cleans, does laundry and cooks fantastic food for lunch and dinner. Our staff goes shopping for you 3 times a week. You simply make a list of things you would like to eat and we will do the shopping. Please let us know any special dietary requirements (vegetarian or vegan) in advance.

Our office with contact persons – in case you need help – is also only about 100m away.

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The surroundings – Places around

Vilanculos is a coastal town in the province of Inhambane, also known as Mozambique’s capital for water sports and is located just under 720 kilometres north of Maputo. With nearly 40,000 inhabitants, the mainland of Vilanculos is a fast-growing city on the coast of Indian Ozan, and is also the recipient of substantial foreign investment in its tourist infrastructure. You will find numerous luxury resorts mostly in the north of the city, some local markets, many local bars and restaurants. The beach is inviting for swimming in most places. Along the busy main road you will meet many tuktuks and you will find all the shops for your daily needs. Vilanculos is a very manageable and peaceful place where you can relax, party or enjoy the many activities. What you can do in Vilanculos you can find here.

Activities in and around Vilanculos

  • Trip to Bazaruto, Benguerra and the other islands
  • Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Kruger National Park
  • Gorongosa National Park
  • Trip to the Red Dunes in the north of Vilanculos at sunset
  • kayak
  • Mangrove forests
  • Fishing with locals on a Dhow boat
  • Trip to Tofo
  • Surfing in Tofo
  • Riding
  • Kite surfing

More information about activities, entry requirements, visas, vaccinations and security can be found here.

Exchange with other volunteers.

The best feedback can be given to you by those who have already been with us. Vanessa will be happy to give you the contact details after consultation, so that you can get in touch with former volunteers and exchange information about the positive experiences as well as the possible downsides. It’s easy with WhatsApp.

The role of our volunteers.

It is very important to us that we do not replace local workers! On the contrary: Our volunteers are only supposed to support where there is too little capacity and to enrich the stringent school system with new ideas. Because of the size of the classes, there is not enough time for the few teachers to take care of the many children. Often the teachers are so enthusiastic about new approaches that they put themselves on the school bench. We want the children and young people to be given the opportunity for cultural exchange and our volunteers to be role models. In the last 4 years we have had consistently positive experiences and have clearly felt the added value for volunteers and children alike. Kululeku is very welcome in Vilanculos, not least because of the successful cooperation with our partner schools.

What we expect from our volunteers?

We expect our volunteers to be open-minded towards a foreign country, its culture and way of life. Mozambique is a developing country in many ways. It is therefore necessary to have an understanding for circumstances such as power cuts, long waiting times, etc. Parts of the country are very poor. You will therefore sometimes be asked for money or work. You should always treat the people with respect and cordiality, be helpful but also be able to show limits. We also appreciate tolerance and flexibility towards some things that are completely normal in Africa. It happens that plans (timetable/project times) change or we have to wait for our driver although a certain time was agreed upon. The best thing for you and for us is to come to this country with a healthy dose of calmness. Despite the many social grievances, we believe that Mozambique is one of the most peaceful and warm-hearted countries in Africa.

Furthermore, it should be self-evident that you treat the house as your own and treat the people you live and work with as you would like to be treated yourself – with respect, dignity and decency. We have nothing against exuberant parties and barbecues, but it is very important that everyone knows their own limits and can take care of themselves.

What you can expect from us.

We will give you all the necessary information before the start of the “Adventure Mozambique” and will be at your disposal to help you plan your stay in order to give you a feeling of security even before your departure. After your application is accepted we will send you several Skype/WhatsApp appointments where we will talk in detail (about 1 hour) about your adventure and we will try to answer all your questions. Vado and his team are your contact persons on site, around the clock! We work exclusively with workers we have trained ourselves to develop and strengthen the local population.

Furthermore we will do our utmost to meet European standards, such as the organization of the daily routine, cleanliness in the house, general punctuality etc. Due to our state non-profit status, which is recognized by the tax office of the Federal Republic of Germany, you can be sure that your money will reach its destination. Our volunteers ensure that we – as one of the very few NGOs worldwide – pass on 100% of the money to the aid projects without deduction of administrative costs. We assure you transparency and honesty regarding our financial flows. As soon as you are there, you will see that the aid and the money get to where they are needed and that at the end of your stay you have become real development workers.

For whom

For everybody 18 years old and older that is willing to have an amazing volunteering experience in Mozambique.
A valid passport (At least six month after the expected arrival)
Visa
Good English knowledge
International Health care insurance
Visas to Mozambique are required for all non-SADC passport holders. It is best to obtain them before arrival to Mozambique by application to your local embassy. However if necessary you can still obtain a 30 day visa on arrival at the airport.

Mozambique is one of the most caring and open African countries. However we do also expect our volunteers to respect local habits and to adjust to their practices. On this note, please bring appropriate clothing (locals dress very casual) such as shorts, Jeans, shirts, flip flops, flat shoes – don´t worry, you´ll be able to wear your bathing suit often enough ☺

Start of the program

The program can be started at any date. Just let us know your preferences, and we will try our best to place you at the dates you wish. We recommend a minimum stay of 4 weeks, which will benefit both sides equally; you as well as the people you work with will need some time to get used to each other and to the workflow. Your stay can most definitely be extended while you are there.

Getting there

Airport Vilanculos
The closest airport to us is Vilanculos, only a 20 minutes’ drive from the house. Vado, our manager, will pick you up there once we have received your flight details. There are good connections between Johannesburg – Vilanculos or Maputo- Vilanculos. It is definitely the easiest way to get to us.

Airport Maputo
MaputoAirport will offer the best and cheapest connections, but you´d need to stay in Maputo for one night and take the bus (11-13h drive!!) the next day at 5 am in the morning. This sounds worse than it actually is J But for sure, travelling in African busses can be exhausting. But even from there, a kululeku representative picks you up from the airport and will take you to the backpackers to spend the night and take you to the bus station the next morning. We can also pick you up with a shuttle service, depending on how many people arrive in Maputo. The agency we work with will give you an affordable price.

Airport Inhambane
Another possibility are flights to Inhambane airport (3h south of Vilanculos) or even Maputo.

Vaccination

Please make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before. (Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine).

Malaria: Also, you will need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Most volunteers prevent, some don´t take anything. We have proper mosquito nets for the night. The best is to ask your doctor about it.
Yellow Fever: There is no risk of yellow fever in Mozambique. The government of Mozambique requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
Hepatitis A: we recommend this vaccine because you can get Hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Mozambique, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Typhoid: You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Mozambique. We recommend this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
Hepatitis B: You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so we recommend this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
Rabies: Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Mozambique, so we recommend this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Mozambique
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.

Security.

Every aspect of your program has safety as its highest priority.

We organize your stay from beginning to end. When you arrive at the airport on the day of the program start, Vado will pick you up at the airport. Vado, our manager, will be with your group during the whole stay and will be available around the clock to help you in any situation. You will be accommodated either in a shared room with 6 beds or in a single room (whenever available). The house is very modern and is located in the middle of Vilanculos in a safe environment. Should you ever get sick, there is a public hospital and a private clinic in Vilanculos, as well as numerous specialists and pharmacies. Please also read the information about recommended vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. All our staff are trained in first aid and speak English.