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Teaching Volunteer Program in  Zambia - Livingstone

Teaching Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Love sharing your knowledge and want to be a volunteer Teacher in Zambia? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching project is a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to assist local teachers at a community school in a disadvantaged area of Zambia. These schools are usually free and set up by the local community to meet the demand for education outside of Zambia’s big cities. Volunteers ease the workload for teachers who are often in charge of large classes and struggle to find the time and resources to provide students with the attention they need to learn and grow.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from CA$549 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Teach disadvantaged students in makeshift community schools

  • Explore and adventure in Zambia’s amazing natural environment

  • Stay with other volunteers near the buzzing town of Livingstone

Key information

Improve access to quality education
Based in local schools
Dormitory-style volunteer​ ​house
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from CA$549 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 16 weeks
Visit the spectacular Victoria Falls
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Aspiring teachers or volunteers who have a genuine passion for education and helping out a local community wherever possible.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Due to Zambia’s rapidly growing population and shortage of teachers, locals have informally developed ‘community schools’ to serve the need for education. These schools commonly offer free admission to students, many of whom are orphaned or living with elderly family members who can’t afford school fees. As a result, they’ve become hugely popular and often have up to 60 students per teacher.

When you volunteer as a teacher, you’ll help in all aspects of schooling, easing the pressure on local staff and improving the quality of education they can provide. Volunteer duties can vary but often include:

  • Supporting local teachers
  • Teaching with other volunteers
  • Tutoring students
  • Teaching English
  • Supervising during exams
  • Assisting with extracurricular activities

Please note that there are three official school holidays in Zambia which are usually in April, August and December. During this time, volunteers still have the opportunity to teach children at the schools although there will be less children in attendance. Many children still need the extra lessons during the holidays, especially those who need extra learning support to help improve performance for their term tests or exams.

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 Teaching volunteering in Livingstone with IVHQ?

As a volunteer teacher in Zambia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving educational outcomes at local schools
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • 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.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

AB
Aoife Boland
20 Jul 2023

Not only did I get to experience a new culture, I made new connections and relationships with others from all over the world and got to experience teaching in a totally different setting to what I’m used to. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.

...
MD
Mitchell Dawson
19 Jul 2023

The local support team was very welcoming, informative, and flexible throughout my placement. This opportunity allowed me to culturally experience and understand the similarities and differences in the local way of life compared to back home. By means of establishing a relationship with my volunteer placement as well as sharing experiences and thoughts with the other volunteers, I have left a mark and had one left on me. Accommodation was very good and better than I expected. This experience has provided me with cultural and work experience unparalleled in my travels thus far. Proper integration into a new environment takes time, but with commitment and an eagerness to learn, lifelong connections and experiences can be made.

...
MC
Mandelena Chetty
19 Jul 2023

The local team was absolutely amazing! All of the staff were helpful and went above and beyond to make sure that everyone was taken care of. My experience volunteering was more incredible than I ever could have dreamt. I wanted to make an impact on the community there, but after coming back, I can see what a huge impact the community and people and experience has on me. In terms of meals, I am vegetarian. The staff did everything that they could to accommodate me and always had options available for me. At no point did I feel unsafe or unprepared. All of the volunteers shared the same love for serving others and despite cultural and age differences, we all got along as if we had been friends forever. Travelling in a new country and getting to work there is a completely different type of travelling, but it really allows you to experience the country in a much deeper and richer way.

...
LC
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.

...
CW
Claire Webster
22 Mar 2023

Thoroughly enjoyed our time in Zambia at the school. People were amazing, kids were amazing and the accommodation was all that we needed. The smiles on the children’s faces, sports day, homework club, spending time with the other volunteers. We don’t need much to be happy. I need to keep myself fit and healthy to ensure I can continue doing these trips. Do it! It will be the best thing you ever did.

...
SJ
Stephen Jupp
24 Nov 2022

It was a life changing experience and I can’t wait to do it again! I have made some lifelong friends with the other volunteers, the project team and particularly the school staff and children that I volunteered for. As an older volunteer, my biggest regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. There are many things that we can experience in life but, for me, immersing one’s self in a new culture and helping the community, transcends everything. My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was on the safari, when I was standing atop a hill with my volunteer friends, overlooking a herd of elephants drinking and bathing in the Zambezi.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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Volunteer Abroad in Zambia with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Zambia volunteer program is based in the laid-back tourist town of Livingstone, named after the famous colonial explorer who was thought to be the first European to see and name the nearby Victoria Falls. Set in the southern edge of Zambia, Livingstone borders Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls - the world’s biggest and most breathtaking waterfall. The area is lush with national parks, abundant wildlife and the Zambezi River which provides an exciting array of outdoor activities for adventurous volunteers.

Volunteer placements are located in Livingstone and surrounding rural areas. On the Rural Teaching project, volunteers are placed and accommodated in the Makumba village, which is located 40 miles 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 traveling 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 socializing.

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.

Weekends

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 are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer​ ​house, approximately 10 minutes from Livingstone town centre.​ You can expect to share a bedroom and bathroom​ ​with 2 to 5 other volunteers of the same gender. The volunteer house has electricity, running water, western bathrooms, and a​ ​​communal lounge and garden area for relaxing and socializing.​ ​It is important to note that power cuts are common in Zambia ​in times of drought, which in turn affects the running water supply.

If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Zambia. The local team can assist you with purchasing a SIM card during your program orientation. You can also access WiFi from cafes and restaurants located within walking distance of the volunteer house.

Private rooms can​ ​be arranged at an additional cost (see upgrade options below) and are subject to availability. This can be​ ​arranged directly through ​​the local team once you have registered for the program. Bed linens are provided and during the hot months, a sheet​ ​should be adequate cover in the evenings. During the cooler​ ​months, you may wish to bring a sleeping bag for an​ ​extra layer of warmth.

Volunteers are also asked to bring their​ ​own towels. The volunteer accommodation has a nighttime​ ​​security guard and is located in a safe area protected by​ ​an electric fence. On-site staff clean the accommodation​ ​throughout the week, however​ ​volunteers are also required​ ​to keep their rooms and common areas tidy.​

Upgrade to a private room with ensuite for the duration of your time on the program for only US$55 (approximately CA$78) per week. The local team have both double and twin rooms available, both with en suite bathrooms.

Extra nights of accommodation If you would like to arrive a day earlier than your recommended arrival date, or wish to spend a few extra nights after finishing your program, we can arrange extra nights of accommodation for you for US$35 (approximately CA$49) per person, per night, meals included, subject to availability. If you would like to arrange an upgrade or extra nights of accommodation, just contact your IVHQ Program Manager who will be happy to assist you.

Meals

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.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
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 CA$549 Equivalent to CA$78/day
2 weeks CA$763 Equivalent to CA$55/day
3 weeks CA$1020 Equivalent to CA$49/day
4 weeks CA$1205 Equivalent to CA$43/day
5 weeks CA$1405 Equivalent to CA$40/day
6 weeks CA$1591 Equivalent to CA$38/day
8 weeks CA$1962 Equivalent to CA$35/day
10 weeks CA$2333 Equivalent to CA$33/day
12 weeks CA$2704 Equivalent to CA$32/day
16 weeks CA$3446 Equivalent to CA$31/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized 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.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$469) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
  • 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 Zambia Immigration in order to stay up to 90 days.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Please note: Volunteers ​staying for longer than 4 weeks ​will need to budget an extra US$400​ (subject to exchange rate) 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.

Free-time experiences & tours in Zambia

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

CA$520
Rhino Game Drive
Rhino Game Drive

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

CA$185
Bungee Jump Victoria Falls
Bungee Jump Victoria Falls

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

CA$256
Rhino Game Drive
Rhino Game Drive

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

CA$185
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.

CA$520
Bungee Jump Victoria Falls
Bungee Jump Victoria Falls

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

CA$256

Check what's required to visit Zambia

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

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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How to get started

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