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Rural Teaching Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Rural Teaching Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Improve access to quality education
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Choose from 1-8 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 8 hours a day
Volunteeers aged 18+ and families
Program fees
From AU$923 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who want to live with the local community and learn about their culture, lifestyle and traditions, as well as helping to teach children at the local school. As volunteers support local teachers, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to participate. However, we encourage you to come prepared by completing some relevant training like a TEFL course.

Project details

Excited to be a volunteer Teacher in rural Zambia? International Volunteer HQ’s Rural Teaching project is an immersive experience where volunteers live in a remote Zambian village and help teach at the nearby school. Volunteers will stay with a local family and help them with their day-to-day activities, gaining a uniquely authentic insight into their lives. The school is understaffed and has a high need for volunteers who can assist with a range of lessons and tutor students.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

If you’re looking for a teaching project in Africa that goes beyond the ordinary, then the Rural Teaching project in Zambia is it. This is an immersive volunteer experience where you’ll be based in a Zambian village, getting a unique insight into African life while making a real difference in the education of children.

Volunteers are based in the village of Makumba, 40 miles from Livingstone. You’ll live as a member of the community, experiencing an authentic lifestyle and volunteering to support teachers in local schools.

You’ll assist local teachers in a school of around 200 students, who range in age from 4-18 years old. Aside from volunteers, international visitors are rare in Makumba, so your perspective and English language skills are particularly valuable. Due to the high demand for support staff and teachers in Zambia, you can expect to be volunteering for full days on a variety of different tasks and subjects. You’ll be primarily helping with:

  • One-on-one tuition
  • Assisting local teachers
  • Occasionally leading lessons
  • Helping with English, math, science, geography, history, art and physical education
  • Marking work
  • Helping with homework
  • Playing games
  • Supervising students during breaks and exams

You’ll also get a unique cultural experience outside of your volunteer hours. You’ll stay in a homestay with a local family, living in a basic house with dirt floors, no electricity, bucket showers and an outdoor toilet. Your homestay will be based around three miles from the school, and you’ll need to walk there each day. Volunteers can also expect to help out around the homestay with tasks such as the general running of the home, including:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Gardening
  • Collecting firewood
  • Collecting water from the well
  • Feeding chickens
  • Harvesting crops.
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Rural Teaching volunteering in Livingstone with IVHQ?

When you volunteer to teach in rural Zambia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged students
  • Helping communities maintain their lifestyle
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself in Zambia’s culture
  • Discovering Africa’s incredible wildlife

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Nicole Watt
24 Apr 2024

I have loved every moment of it. I cannot wait to start looking to plan the next trip. I have no words that can explain how thankful I am to the IVHQ team, the local hosts, the children we met along the way, and the school staff. Not forgetting the amazing locals and other volunteers we met and became friends with along the way. I have gained an insight into how others live and it’s made me more appreciative of what I have at home. I am so glad I have had this experience to help change others lives, and I hope to stay in contact with some of those I have met on my journey. Thank you all so much for making this possible for me. You are all amazing.

Alisha Thompsett
19 Jul 2023

I’ve now completed 3 volunteer trips with IVHQ this year and after each one I leave with a sense of pride knowing not only have I enjoyed a new culture and experience but I have done so making a difference to those in the local community.

Mihrab Randhawa
16 Jul 2023

Everything was so well organized and the IVHQ team was so helpful with any questions that I had. The local team was absolutely amazing! They made us feel so comfortable and safe. They helped us every step of the way throughout my stay. I loved my time at school, spending time with the children. I was so inspired being around a group of people that all left their lives behind to volunteer in Africa.

Lynne Clemente
16 Jul 2023

The local team was outstanding! The local coordinators are so pleasant and personable, always wearing a big smile on their faces. They were very helpful during my stay, organizing excursions, scheduling safe and reliable taxi drivers, and providing airport transfers. The orientation presentation was very informative and entertaining.

Volunteering at my placement was a wonderful, humbling, touching, and rewarding experience. The children were so happy, despite having so very little. Their enthusiasm towards school and learning was beautiful. Hearing them sing songs, dance, passionately raise their hands and participate in lessons, and work so diligently to improve their reading, writing, and Math skills was a treat. It was a very different learning environment than I am used to in the high school where I teach at home. My heart was touched every time the children came running up to hug me, give me a high five, or hold my hand. The farewell song that they sang on my last day brought me to tears. Such beautifully happy and energetic children, with good hearts and positive spirits. The third grade teacher I worked with was outstanding! He clearly has a special bond with his students and utilized very effective teaching methods. I believe that the experience was beneficial for all involved. In terms of accommodation, I was prepared for the sparse, basic living conditions. It brought me back to my college days in a dormitory. It was perfectly sufficient for the time that I stayed. The grounds were very well kept and the staff was extremely friendly and hard working.

I was also pleasantly surprised with the meals. There was an abundance of salads, greens, and vegetables at each meal, along with rotating starches. Everything was delicious. As a vegetarian, I was prepared to be flexible during my stay. However, there were always plenty of tasty salads and vegetables at each meal. As a high school history teacher who loves to travel (especially throughout Africa and Europe), I was excited for a new challenge - one which I hoped would result in personal and professional growth, while also helping students who are less fortunate. I embraced the opportunity to immerse myself in a culture and a classroom which are so drastically different from my own. I also met some amazing volunteers in my accommodation who will now become lifelong friends. Zambia is in a perfect location for exploring the many natural gems of Africa. With fellow volunteers, I was able to explore Victoria Falls and go on an overnight camping safari in Botswana's Chobe National Park. I would 100% recommend IVHQ for anyone who is considering a volunteer project. It will be an unforgettable experience. The impossibly beautiful places and people of Zambia captured my heart. I most definitely will return. Thank you IVHQ and the local team for the experience of a lifetime.

Sarah Kirk
30 Aug 2022

I realize despite how little the children and their families have in Zambia they are always happy and keen to welcome volunteers. Many of the people back at home could learn a lot from them. Go and try it out! You will meet many lovely people from around the world, can give something back and can also see and experience many great different things such as safari and water rafting.

Annabelle Ayliffe
11 Feb 2021

I had an amazing experience on the rural teaching programme. I am already planning on going back. The family are amazing and would do anything for you, but be prepared for a 5 1/2 km walk to school! I couldn't recommend this project enough. It will really change your outlook on life.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Volunteer Abroad in Zambia with IVHQ


The Rural Teaching project in Zambia is set in a small village called Makumba. The village is around 2 miles from the school and a 1 hour in a car from Livingstone.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Livingstone on the Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Livingstone. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Zambia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Livingstone on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Zambia team at the volunteer house in Livingstone. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Zambia – an introduction to Zambia, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering (the day after your orientation), you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day is as follows:

7:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house
8:00 AM Volunteers travel to their placements to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
12:30 PM Work at the placement usually ends for the day and volunteers return to the volunteer house for lunch.
1:30 PM After lunch, volunteers may spend their free time as they wish or if they are looking for extra volunteering hours, there are alternatives available such as working at a homework club.
7:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.


During the weekend, volunteers in Zambia have an endless list of activities to join. The area’s major attraction, Victoria Falls, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. In addition to the wealth of nearby national parks, nature lovers have the opportunity to experience a range of safaris and tours in Zambia, as well as in other neighboring countries, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Thrill seekers are also well catered to in Zambia, with an abundance of activities, such as bungee jumping, devil’s pool, white water rafting, abseiling, gorge swinging, zip-lining and microlight flights. Within Livingstone itself, a range of restaurants, curio markets and various cultural activities offer a lot to take in for those wish to stay around town.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers who choose to join the Rural Teaching placement are​ ​accommodated in a basic homestay with dirt floors, bucket showers, an outdoor toilet and no access to electricity​ or running water ​in the village.

Volunteers will help with the general running of the homestay, including gardening, moulding bricks, milking cattle, collecting firewood, collecting water from the well, feeding chickens and collecting eggs, harvesting crops, cooking and cleaning.


Volunteers are served three meals per day, prepared by an on-site local cook. All meals will be a mix of western and traditional Zambian food.

Breakfast may include fruit, toast, spreads and cereal with tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is usually provided in the volunteer accommodation, although packed lunches of sandwiches and fruit are provided if requested for those who choose to remain at their placement. Dinners will commonly be a combination of meat, starches and vegetables.

The local staff are happy to accommodate special dietary requests (vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free etc). Please let an IVHQ staff member know of any special dietary requirements in advance, so we can ensure the local staff are prepared for you.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately AU$519) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $585 Equivalent to $84/day
2 weeks $735 Equivalent to $53/day
3 weeks $915 Equivalent to $44/day
4 weeks $1,045 Equivalent to $37/day
5 weeks $1,185 Equivalent to $34/day
6 weeks $1,315 Equivalent to $31/day
8 weeks $1,575 Equivalent to $28/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$519) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Volunteers ​staying for longer than 4 weeks ​will need to budget an extra US$400​ (approximately) to ​obtain a temporary work permit​ ​from Zambian Immigration in order to stay up to 90 days.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Zambia generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return airport transfer when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Livingstone

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Livingstone! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Livingstone program.

Chobe Camping Safari (2 days, 1 night)
Chobe Camping Safari (2 days, 1 night)

A memorable 2 day safari experience at the Chobe National Park, Botswana, known for its huge elephant herds.

Rhino Game Drive
Rhino Game Drive

Experience Mosi-Oa-Tunya guided game drives, home of most of Zambia’s white rhino population.

Bungee Jump Victoria Falls
Bungee Jump Victoria Falls

Enjoy a scenic bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, located in Mosi Otunya Park.


Check what's required to visit Zambia

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Lusaka
Population 17.86 million
Languages English, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga
Currency Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

There are three seasons in Zambia: the dry season (mid-April to August), when temperatures drop at night, but the landscape is green and lush; the hot season (September to mid-November), when the best time to see wildlife as flora is sparse; and, the wet season (mid-November to mid-April), which is ideal for bird-watching.

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