Hundreds of people have queued outside a hotel in the Malawi capital this week for a chance to work in Israel, wary of the war but willing to face the dangers to escape their own country's woes.
More than 220 Malawians flew to Israel on Saturday as part of a government labour export programme aimed at finding jobs for young people and generating desperately needed foreign exchange.
With Malawi's economy in deep trouble, thousands are ready to take on jobs on Israeli farms and orchards left deserted by the Gaza conflict.
"It’s everyone’s dream to acquire capital. You know like in Malawi, most of Malawian youths they tend to say we struggle, we struggle a lot when it comes to capital even after finalising tertiary education. So, if I'm to be successful during this event of going to Israel, I will gain a lot of experience and possibly open my farm," said Blessings Kanyimbo, an applicant
The Israeli ambassador told The Nation newspaper the deal was a "win-win" for the two countries.
Malawians will earn good money and knowledge, while Israel will part fill its labour gap.
On top of the foreign exodus, some 350,000 Israelis have been called up into the military.
"A number of youths are leaving Malawi for Israel where they will be engaged in a number of agricultural activities, which is part of the labour export, a private sector-driven initiative with the Malawi government coming in as a regulator of labour-related issues," said Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, Director of Information in Malawi.
"When they go there, they are also paid. They are not just going there for internship and work. They get paid," added Mike Ching’amba, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources lecturer.
Asian foreign workers have fled, while Gaza Palestinians have been barred since the October 7 Hamas attacks that unleashed the war.
Dozens of foreign workers were among about 240 people that Israel says were kidnapped in the attacks.