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September 27, 2013 to October 6, 2013

Are you looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Do you enjoy learning about other cultures from locals? Are you eager to make the world a safer, healthier, more decent place to live? Do you love working with a team and making new friends? If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, please consider joining this Global Village team to Africa to build a house in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Malawi. Our team will be working on a special project to benefit orphans and vulnerable children in the Mulanje region. Global Village is the most fun you’ll ever have working hard and immersing yourself in another culture. New African friends, future teammates, as well as the hippos are waiting for you!

About Malawi
Known as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi is a small landlocked country in southeastern Africa. With its cities and mountains, the Great Rift Valley and stunning jewel Lake Malawi, the county’s captivating scenery is eclipsed only by its friendly people. 

A predominantly agrarian society, Malawi remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Yet it’s got some things going for it, the least of which is not its leader. Named by Forbes in 2012 as the most powerful woman in Africa, Joyce Banda, who took office last year, is Malawi’s first female president. World economic data shows that the number of people living below the poverty line is steadily declining, making Malawi a nation on the rise.

About Habitat for Humanity Malawi and the Orphans and Vulnerable Children project
Habitat for Humanity Malawi started in Lilongwe in 1986, and has served 9,000 families in 15 districts. Houses are typically made of burnt clay bricks with cement floors and tile roofs. Thanks to some creative problem solving, Habitat Malawi is able to address problems even bigger than just helping single families get into decent shelter, such as the fully subsidized homes built through the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Program. 

Habitat Malawi began the initiative in 2009 in response to the rising number of HIV/AIDS deaths, which has orphaned many children and left special-needs adults vulnerable in substandard conditions. Called Abwenzi Athu—“Our Friends”—the program also attempts to make families feel less ostracized in their villages. Additionally, Habitat Malawi teaches partner families how to draft wills and learn inheritance rights, something especially important for widows and orphans. 

About this team’s project
Our team will travel to Mulanje in southern Malawi and build a house with the OVC project. Typical site work includes mixing mortar and concrete, carrying construction materials, fixing chicken wires, digging foundations, making bricks and carrying water. We will work hard, but have lots of fun, too! We will connect with the local culture not only by working with our host community but also by taking trips to the local market and a tea estate, meeting with the village chief and enjoying a special closing ceremony that includes performances by local music groups and a Malawian favorite – dancing. 

In Mulanje teams stay in guesthouses or small hotels, most likely with hot running water for showering. Breakfast and dinner are provided at the guesthouse and lunch is provided on-site. The team will spend some time each day talking about our experiences and getting to know one another. There will be other opportunities for cultural activities in the evenings, during free time and during days off.

Day 1 (Friday, Sept. 27) – Suggested departure for Malawi.
Day 2 (Saturday, Sept. 28) – Arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi and meet the team; dinner and overnight.
Day 3 (Sunday, Sept. 29) – Breakfast at hotel; welcome and orientation with local staff; lunch at hotel; travel to Mulanje; dinner and overnight at guesthouse.
Days 4-7 (Monday, Sept. 30 – Thursday, Oct. 3) – Breakfast served at guesthouse before traveling to the work site; work from 8a.m. – 4p.m. with lunch on-site; travel back to guesthouse and dinner and team activities with free time in the evenings for local cultural activities.
Day 8 (Friday, Oct. 4) – Breakfast; travel to work site and work a half-day; lunch on-site; house dedication and farewell ceremony in the afternoon; drive back to Lilongwe (if you are staying for optional R&R); dinner and overnight
Day 9 (Saturday, Oct. 5) – Breakfast at the hotel; cultural activities and free time; dinner and overnight.
Day 10 (Sunday, Oct. 6) – Depart for home or R&R.

Program cost
(For details about what is included in this cost visit Global Village program cost.)

Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge—join us in sharing our story and building a better world. 

Team leader
Former fashion magazine advertising saleswoman, Staci turned her professional efforts to making the world a better place in 1995, serving Pittsburgh Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps/VISTA doing fundraising and community leadership development. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in international training and education with a focus on NGO management and participatory development from American University in Washington, D.C. Afterward Staci was a consultant for the World Bank, product developer for Manaca Ecotravel and professional photographer in both Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Now a wife and mother, Staci enjoys raising her children and focusing her volunteer efforts on her first love, building houses around the world with Habitat for Humanity. A passionate advocate for crossing cultures and partnering with people in need, Staci uses her talents and skills as a Global Village team leader. She’s traveled to 29 countries and has no plans of slowing down. When she is not globe-trotting and collecting fodder for, she enjoys her second-favorite pastime, cooking and throwing parties at her home in Baltimore, Md.

Please contact the team leader Staci at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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