Placement dates (excluding travel time): 01 Aug 2020 - 15 Aug 2020
£3,400.00 ($4,101.42 approx)
Application deadline: 03 Apr 2020
Pre-departure training: 25 Apr 2020 - 25 Apr 2020 TBC (GB)


Join our partner Scripture Union of Malawi (SUM) as they share the good news of Jesus and address financial poverty with communities across Malawi.

We offer two week placements for families of all sizes with children aged 7-17. It’s a chance to engage with Tearfund’s work, to be inspired by those you meet, and to discover more about God’s heart for the poor, together.

SUM is passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus whilst also addressing other forms of poverty in Malawi.

Almost half of Malawi’s population is under the age of 15, so SUM works closely with children and young people to help them recognise their value and empower them to make positive change. They work in schools and run regular youth camps to raise awareness on key issues such as gender, health, nutrition and leadership.

Our kids really enjoyed making relationships with the local people. It was life-changing for them to be surrounded by a different culture and environment. Seeing how other people live was massively impacting for them.

Angela Thorne, Uganda family placement, 2018

What will you be doing?

On placement your family will be involved in education and poverty reduction programmes. You will have the chance to develop relationships with SUM staff and people from inspirational communities, as you support the incredible work being done.

Your family could be involved in:

  • Supporting SUM’s family ministry programmes.
  • Supporting teachers who run bible clubs in both rural and urban primary schools.
  • Encouraging bible reading and supporting the production of reading aids.
  • Supporting conservation and agricultural projects.
  • Helping at and leading youth camps and study groups.

What can you bring?

You and your family will need to be engaged, excited and ready for something different. This is an incredible opportunity for you to journey together, to go deeper with God and to see how communities are changing their own stories and lifting themselves out of poverty. You’ll need to be flexible and adaptable, and ready to work with our partners as they reach the world’s poorest.

Whenever we have volunteers it brings more impact to our work. Every team is different and brings different skills. It adds value because it increases the picture that our staff have in terms of the work of God.

Amon Chanika, National Director of Scripture Union Malawi

More information

For more details about the arrangements for a family placement and how to apply together, please get in touch! You can call us on 020 3906 3111, email us at or fill out our ‘Register your Interest’ form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

*Please note…

The cost mentioned above includes pre-departure training, insurance, debrief, a medical package, administrative costs and in-country travel, accommodation and food.

For information on additional costs, check out our FAQ section below.


Worried about costs?

When we first meet you at an interview day or at pre-departure training, we will give you some ideas about fundraising. If you would like more inspiration, check out Tearfund's fundraising webzone and Nia’s blog with eight fundraising tips.

We don’t ask you to pay the whole cost all at once!

When you apply you are required to send in a non-refundable deposit. The deposit covers the administrative costs of processing your application, interviewing and/or assigning you to a team.

After we have confirmed your place and selected you, we will ask you to send in a further deposit. This is for administrative, preparatory, in-country and other costs that have to be paid in advance, and again, this is non-refundable.

You will need to pay the final balance a month before you travel.

What will I be doing?

All sorts! It totally depends on which country you chose and which partner you volunteer alongside. But we’re normally correct when we say...

  • You’ll be learning loads
  • You’ll be supporting our partner to keep up their fantastic work
  • You’ll be making new friends
  • You’ll be growing in your relationship with God

Here are some recent examples.

In Cambodia: Tearfund’s partner CHO, works closely with children, providing education. Volunteers have brought their personal education experience to help teach english, run sports and lead bible studies. CHO also has an incredible Social Enterprise called Destiny Cafe where the volunteers get an opportunity to work alongside locals and develop new innovative ways to expand business in the area.

In India: Tearfund’s partners have invited prayer teams to join them for two weeks. Volunteers bring their fresh enthusiasm and commitment to prayer, coming alongside partners and beneficiaries, often resulting in a fresh awakening of God’s power at work.

Where will I stay and what will I eat?

This totally varies from team to team, but we can guarantee that you will have a mattress under you and a roof over you! You may be sleeping in a church, house, school, or simple guesthouse. Two-week teams tend to live in a guesthouse with running water. Food will usually be a mixture of local food and English food. It's hard to predict what you will encounter so you need to expect the unexpected. Our most common complaint from teams is that they are treated too well!

How do I contact you if I have more questions?

Sometimes it's hard to navigate your way around new sites, so we'd love to chat to you over the phone or email. 

Contact us

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