We refer to those outside visitors that come to stay, learn and work in Manica for more than 4 weeks as volunteers.

95% of all volunteers to Manica has been excellent and fantastic. Heroes include Julie, Wenke, Phil, Adri-Marie, Stefan, Suzette, Christophe and too many others to mention! Plus the Arsenal Gappers like Adam, Drew, Mego and Will.

The reason for the success was that volunteers come to Manica to serve, not on their own terms but in response to local guidance. As always the first focus is on friendship and learning. The first job of the volunteer is to un-learn and then re-learn. This all happens without any illusions of helpfulness. Volunteering is aimed to change the volunteer, and hopefully do as little as possible damage in that time. Manicans have much to offer, if you know how to look keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut.

5% of volunteers struggled, not with the heat, malaria, poverty or language; but because they could not give up their sense of cleverness and control… [GDM retains the right to send volunteers home should the Directors make such decision]

For prospective volunteers (who are always welcome) we suggest regular pre-trip contact in order for sufficient preparation. Those people like John Olaleye or Phil Danger, did not need prep work, because they were naturally respectful and humble. That is the key…

We recommend first reading the Integration Curriculum Booklit, especially the first half of it will be very useful. The socond part is about our partners Youthzones, a program built on the GDM model:


Below a list of essential vocab that should be in your head and on your tongue prior to arrival:

Portuguese words to learn