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This article reports on a study to explore the factors and motivations that contribute to community volunteers’ participation in a nursery feeding project in Malawi. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with community volunteers in 14 of the 32 sites in the programme. The findings pointed to a mix of intrinsic motivations, namely a deep concern for orphans and vulnerable children, a moral obligation to help, and a declared love of the work undertaken, and also to external factors such as spirituality, links of reciprocity, and the building of social capital. Understanding what motivates volunteers to take part in resource-poor settings is crucial to recognising, facilitating, and sustaining the work that they do. Further research into volunteering in the South is crucially needed.

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