Do you have a sense of adventure and a desire to serve in Africa? Would you like to live a simpler lifestyle close to the people and share your faith and talents with the poor? If so, we would like to invite you to consider joining us in our mission work in Malawi.
Malawi: What’s it like?
With almost 14 million people living in an area the size of Pennsylvania, Malawi is far more densely populated than its neighbor, Zambia. Malawi has been independent since 1966. It is a peaceful country that rarely makes international headlines, but don’t be fooled! It is rich in culture and history. Malawians are typically very warm and polite, but reserved. It takes time for outsiders to get to know Malawians well.
Agriculture is very important in Malawi. It is estimated that 85% of the population depends on the export of agricultural products for their livelihood. There is also a growing need for skilled technical workers.
Malawi has beautiful grassy landscapes and mountains in the rural areas, where there are more traditional small towns and villages. It also has large cities that are quickly modernizing, such as Blantyre, which is about 20-30 minutes away from our Lunzu mission site.
The Comboni Missionary Brothers run a post-secondary school, the Comboni Technical Center (CTC), to teach business skills, specialized trades, and human formation to assist the young people of Malawi. They have programs for carpentry, electrical work, and welding/fabrication. Each program takes two years to complete. The school is currently run by Br. Matthias Adossi (of Togo), and Br. Richard Andama (of Uganda). They have warmly welcomed lay missionaries to collaborate with them at the CTC.
The CTC is open to students of any faith, and they must pass a written examination and oral interview. The school receives about 600 applications per year, but only has the capacity to accept less than 10% of the applicants. About 90-95% of the students are male.
Recently, the CTC added a six-month internship program to assist its students in getting “real world” experience after they graduate. They also invite the top students back to work at the school to help in producing furniture, doors, and other high quality goods for sale to help support the school.
Although English is the only language allowed in the school, the local language is Chichewa. We need our lay missionaries to study this language for a period of 2-3 months before beginning their service.
Read more about the lay missionaries in Lunzu here.
What Kind of Work Would You Do?
- Teaching positions at the CTC in the subjects of computers, accountancy, carpentry, electrical work, entrepreneurship, English, human formation, or welding/fabrication.
- Mentoring students at the CTC.
What Kind of Candidates Are We Looking For?
We are looking for candidates with some skills and experience in the following areas:
- The energy and ability to mentor and relate well with youth, and a strong work ethic.
- Relationship building skills, and leadership ability are very useful. Comfort in a mostly male environment.
- Computer training; experience in CAD highly desirable.
- Expertise in carpentry, electrical work, welding, fabrication.
- Entrepreneurship/business management experience.
What Do We Provide?
- Preparation: We provide a solid 14-week formation program at our center in La Grange Park, IL. It includes discussions and workshops in mission theology, skills for cross-cultural living, collaborative leadership, communication and team building skills, mission spirituality, and community.
- Language Training: We ask that new lay missionaries assigned to Malawi study the local language of Chichewa for 2-3 months.
- Local Support: The Comboni community at the mission site will serve as support for the lay missionaries. There are opportunities for interaction with other Catholic mission personnel in the area around Blantyre and Lunzu.
- Room and Board: Housing for lay missionaries is available next door to the Comboni community house. The CLMP will provide a monthly stipend for personal expenses and for food. (Approximately $100 for personal expenses and $175 for food expenses.) The lay missionaries also receive an annual allowance of $300 for professional growth, retreat, and vacation expenses from the CLMP.
- Health Insurance and Other Benefits: Lay missionaries are provided health insurance and transportation to and from the mission site in Malawi. Upon successful completion of their three-year contract, they will also receive $1800 for relocation expenses.
How Do You Take the Next Step?
If you would be interested in serving as a lay missionary for three years in Malawi, please take a look at our requirements for Eligibility. If you think you meet the requirements, fill out the Preliminary Form and we can begin to discuss the possibilities.