The Livingstone Volunteers Scheme


About the Scheme

The McConnell International Foundation believes that volunteering in a developing country helps Scottish youngsters widen their horizons, grow in confidence and understand the world a bit better. But not all young people have the opportunity to reap the benefits of volunteering abroad.

The Foundation has established the Livingstone Volunteers scheme to help support the fundraising efforts of those young Scots who have the chance to volunteer in Africa, but are struggling to meet the costs.


Livingstone Volunteers 2019

We are pleased to announce that the Livingstone Volunteers will be returning for 2019. We are honoured to be able to continue to award grants across the country due to our committed donors and supporters.

For information on this year’s scheme please click here.


Livingstone Volunteers 2018

The fifth anniversary of the Livingstone Volunteers Scheme, and it did not disappoint. Thank you to all of our wonderful grant recipients, judging panel, and our supporters and donors. Want to learn what the Scheme is all about? Check out the 2018 report.


Livingstone Volunteers 2017

Congratulations to all of our recipients, we were delighted to have you represent the scheme.

To learn more about what our volunteers got up to, take a look at the 2017 report.


Livingstone Volunteers 2016

The 2016 Livingstone Volunteers scheme was launched in October 2015. The 2016 scheme saw the highest number of full £500 grants being awarded in Livingstone Volunteers’ history and awarded these grants to young persons across Scotland, from Glasgow to Stirling to Fife to Aberdeen.

The summary report on the Livingstone Volunteers 2016 is now able to view. 


Livingstone Volunteers 2015

The 2015 scheme focused on young people aged from 15 to 19 years who secured a volunteer placement on their school’s 2015 trip to sub-Saharan Eastern Africa, or with a similar organised group.

Livingstone Volunteers 2015 saw a total of 20 applications, with 18 grants being awarded. An event was held in April 2015 to present each of the successful applicants with their grant.

To read all about how are volunteers got on, visit the full report of the 2015 Scheme.


Livingstone Volunteers 2014

Forty young Scots took part in the inaugural year of the Livingstone Volunteers scheme, four times the original number intended. Twelve people received the full grant of £500 with the remainder receiving grants of £300 or £100 each thanks to the generosity of a range of individuals and organisations.

Read more from our volunteers in the full report of the 2014 scheme.


Where some of our volunteers have gone:

Malawi Young Leaders of Learning (MYLOL)

For each year of the Livingstone Volunteers, grants have been awarded to members of the MYLOL. Established by Glasgow City Council, the project has seen numerous recipients from schools in the Glasgow City area travel to Malawi as representatives of their school to engage with, support and experience the lives of a partner school. Those who were awarded with a Livingstone Volunteers grant have partaken in the following activities.

  • Resourcing and constructing classrooms in Chichiri Primary and Secondary schools.
  • Volunteering at Mary’s Meals facilities.
  • Joint trips with partner school to local places of importance, including farming facilities and community projects


First Aid Africa (Malawi and Tanzania)

Several Livingstone Volunteers from 2014-2016 undertook their placement with First Aid Africa. Through the charity, the volunteers were taught first aid skills in Scotland and then positioned in rural parts of Malawi or Tanzania to teach these skills to local communities and in local schools. The aim of such teaching was to provide vital life saving skills to those within the community, in order for them to pass the information on to others and also equip them with the knowledge to deal with any necessary emergency care.


Habitats for Humanity

A volunteer from 2015 was part of a team of volunteers from Habitats for Humanity who was chosen to work in Malawi to help with the construction of a home for a local family. The project lasted for two weeks, and enabled both the local community and the volunteers to develop labour skills and learn useful knowledge about the assembling process of buildings and houses.


Raleigh International Trust

A volunteer from 2016 spent the duration of their placement in Tanzania with Raleigh International Trust. The volunteer worked with young people in the community to help raise awareness of the practical ways to improve health and hygiene. Another aspect of the placement involved helping with the construction of a block of toilets at a local school, which was essential to young girls of the community who tended to leave school at puberty because of the lack of private and functional toilet facilities available.


Project Trust

Volunteers from 2014 and 2016 have embarked on placements with Project Trust. There is a long and intense vetting process that individuals have to undertake to volunteer with Project Trust, and the projects themselves last for one year. Each of the Livingstone Volunteers who worked with Project Trust undertook their placement in Malawi in different orphanages, where the work ranged from personal care to education to extracurricular and creative activities.


Classrooms for Malawi

A volunteer from the 2014 Livingstone Volunteers cohort undertook an extensive placement with Classrooms for Malawi. The volunteering took place at Chisenjere Primary School, outside of Blantyre. The basic principle of the placement was to work in partnership with the community to improve the building and resources of the school. Each project with the organisation insists on the use of locally sourced materials and is overseen by local tradesman and a joint management committee. The volunteer spent two weeks on site helping to reconstruct the school, and in the months prior to that they liaised with the management committee and designers in order to understand the project and what was expected of them before they embarked on their placement.