Volunteering in Tanzania
To travel to Tanzania and volunteer is becoming a popular way to experience another culture. Both young people in their gap-year and older people taking a career break travel to Tanzania in order to spend time working and traveling.
By traveling to Tanzania the volunteer makes a difference to our communities in parts of Tanzania that are rich in culture, variety and natural beauty; but where there is poverty and disadvantage. Some companies arrange placements and courses for volunteers to develop skills in towns whilst others send volunteers to remote rural but areas of the Tanzania.
Volunteers fall into several groups the gap students that prefer a volunteer program that is comprehensive, fun and challenging. Normally from one to six months month programs which – including training, on-site support staff, accommodation and travel insurance.
Summer Mini-Gaps are summer programs, for school leavers going straight to University, or University students during the summer break.
School Expeditions: are from tens up to four week expeditions for school groups. This involves work in a community or school building project and then a safari or to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
Career Breaks are a fulfilling two week to six month program, which can be incorporated into existing travel plans – including training, support and initial accommodation. Designed for over 21s and those looking for a more independent placement.
Popular volunteer work in the towns usually involves working with the street-boys. These programs need volunteers to commit to at least three months. They are quite involved and require working on the streets to build up a relationship and trust with the street-boys. Once they have come to the hostel returning them to their families is a priority with a follow up program to ensure the boys readjust to family life. The boys who are not able to return home or indeed have no families are sent to school, guided on how to live healthy and life skills are taught. Volunteers are expected to get involved with all aspects of this work.
The rural area’s normally offer teaching positions. A normal week will have around 15 hours of English lessons. During lessons the volunteers may work with a Tanzanian teacher or may have a class all to themselves. The volunteer’s role is to focus on improving speaking and listening skills and building the children’s confidence to communicate. This means lots of fun and interaction, including games, songs dressing up, and any other creative activities that get the kids using English. There are also roles at kindergarten where the children are normally between the ages of 4-7. There is a great opportunity for someone who loves playing with and entertaining children as well as teaching them Basic English. The kindergarten is a less daunting environment but equally challenging and rewarding.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and as such the standard of living appears very low to us. A huge part of the adventure of living and working in Tanzania is the accommodation and living conditions; great for those with a sense of adventure.
Volunteers soon adapt to the Tanzanian way of life that is dictated by the hours of daylight. With the absence of electricity, waking hours become fairly similar to daylight hours. There will be plenty of free time to relax, enjoy Africa, get to know local people. It is important that volunteers come equipped to entertain themselves with books, musical instruments, paints, running shoes and a host of ideas that can be swapped with other volunteers.