Volunteer Work In Tanzania: A Comprehensive Guidebook

calendar_today August 24, 2017
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“Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.”Albert Schweitzer.

 

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In this article, we shall provide answers to all the important questions related to a volunteering trip to Tanzania.

Why should I volunteer abroad?

It’s perhaps one of the most important questions that’ll cross your mind over and over again. Yes, being a volunteer, the best thing you’ll get to do is to contribute meaningfully to the lives of those who are in need of your support, but it’s not just that. There’s much more to it.

A volunteering journey abroad has a much wider range of benefits attached to it, and you can’t ignore those even if you wish to.

It’ll help you to shed the fear of traveling alone.
It’ll be an opportunity for you to travel to a new country, and explore the place from a completely different angle, unlike other tourists.
You’ll understand that language can never be a barrier, and emotions can help you communicate.
You’ll also get to learn the native language from the locals.
You’ll get to taste the local cuisine and learn to cook as well.
This is your chance to meet new people from different parts of the world and learn things that textbooks could never tell you.
It’s going to be an unforgettable chapter to your travel journal.
Volunteering will also accelerate your career with an unparalleled experience.

What are the projects I can take part in? What would be the duration of these projects?

Volunteering Solutions, in collaboration with local Tanzanian organizations, has projects in three different locations – Arusha, Mtwara, and Zanzibar. The minimum duration to volunteer for any project is 1 week and the maximum is 24 weeks. Volunteers can choose the duration as per their convenience, however, we would suggest you spend at least 2 weeks, to make an impact.

Summer Impact Project Tanzania 2024

Join the Summer Impact Volunteering Project in Tanzania and embark on a journey of exploration while contributing to the community. Engage in meaningful work at a childcare center in Arusha, focusing on enhancing living conditions. The vision for the Summer Impact Project in Tanzania is centered around creating and improving living conditions for children in daycare centers and orphanages. This involves building and renovating spaces that are safe and conducive to the well-being of children, staff, and visitors. A significant portion of the program fee will be dedicated to the construction project donation.

In these 2 weeks, gain valuable work experience, immerse yourself in the Maasai community, and witness authentic lifestyles, creating lasting memories. Beyond connecting with the local community, volunteers will have the chance to meet fellow travelers, backpackers, and fellow do-gooders from around the world.

summer volunteer in Tanzania

2 Weeks Special Volunteer Program in Tanzania

Become a part of the 2 Weeks Special Volunteer Program in Tanzania with Volunteering Solutions. Immerse yourself in the safari haven of Africa, home to the iconic Big 5 (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and experience the thrill of camping amidst the untamed wilderness. Over 14 days, connect with fellow like-minded travelers from diverse corners of the globe, engage in meaningful work to support underprivileged communities in and around Arusha, and expand your social network.

This program is tailor-made for high school and college students seeking a brief yet enriching volunteer experience abroad. 

chilcare volunteering in Tanzania

Childcare Volunteering in Arusha, Tanzania

Contribute to the well-being of children from underserved communities by volunteering for childcare in Tanzania, making a meaningful and responsible impact as you travel and explore the country. Placed in local childcare centers, volunteers in this project take on various responsibilities, including caring for children, assisting in meal preparation, supporting local staff with administrative tasks, and participating in fundraising events to secure food and shelter for the kids at the center.

With insufficient staff to care for them, volunteers play a vital role in providing essential care, including feeding, bathing, offering love, sharing stories, and engaging the children in various learning activities. Volunteers may also assist with administrative duties as needed.

medical volunteering in Tanzania

Medical Volunteer Program in Arusha, Tanzania

This program is designed for medical and nursing students, as well as medical professionals seeking international work exposure. It offers an incredible opportunity to provide care for the sick and unwell. Medical volunteers collaborate with healthcare professionals at local centers, gaining insight into the medical facilities available in a Third World Country. Primary tasks include checking blood pressure, pulse, and temperature of patients, administering vaccines, suturing wounds, and assisting medical staff as needed. Participating in this project not only enhances medical skills but also provides a unique perspective on healthcare challenges in underserved communities. Joining this initiative allows volunteers to make a meaningful impact while broadening their understanding of global health issues.

You can read more about this project from Dr. Anindita Bhateja’s blog, who traveled to be a part of this project and shared her incredible experience.

volunteer teaching in Arusha Tanzania

English Teaching Program in Arusha, Tanzania

The English Teaching Volunteer Program in Arusha is dedicated to the educational development and enrichment of underprivileged children in the region. English, being a globally significant language, plays a crucial role in one’s career progression. As the tourism and safari sector in Tanzania continues to flourish, the demand for fluent English speakers is increasing. The primary objective of volunteers is to introduce a variety of new words and engage children through activity-based learning methods. Volunteers can enhance the teaching experience by bringing interesting study materials, charts, games, and other resources.

Additionally, volunteers have the opportunity to assist teaching staff, ensuring that the impactful methods introduced during their tenure can be sustained by permanent staff after their departure. Join us in making a positive impact on the educational journey of these children, fostering a love for English language learning that extends beyond the volunteer period.

Medical Volunteering Project in Zanzibar, Tanzania

medical volunteering in Zanzibar

The healthcare system in Zanzibar, similar to that of other developing countries, grapples with infrastructural and administrative hurdles. This volunteering initiative welcomes participation from pre-med, medical, and nursing students, as well as medical professionals. Participants can select their preferred departments based on their interests. Medical and nursing students will have the opportunity to assist experienced professionals, while pre-med students can shadow doctors during their involvement in this project.

volunteer in zanzibar teaching project

English Teaching Program in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Volunteers joining this initiative will be assigned to Primary and Secondary Schools in Zanzibar, where their primary responsibility will be teaching fundamental English language skills. These schools face a shortage of staff despite having a significant number of students. In addition to English, volunteers are encouraged to contribute to the teaching of Mathematics and engage in co-curricular activities. Key responsibilities include lesson planning, creating instructional materials, devising innovative teaching methods, and providing support to classroom teachers.

Coral Restoration & Sea Turtle Conservation by Scuba Diving in South Tanzania

Coral reefs are super important underwater homes for many sea animals. Even though they make up less than 1% of our oceans, they’re home to a whopping 25% of marine animals. Sadly, 70% of coral reefs are in big trouble and might disappear by 2050. We need to act fast to help them recover.

Sea Turtles are like superheroes for the ocean’s animals. They play a big role in keeping the sea life balanced. But, they’re facing a lot of dangers like climate change, fishing, and pollution. If things don’t change, they might be gone by 2050 because of what people are doing. We really need to do something now to save them.

What are the qualifications required to be a volunteer in Tanzania?

There is no hard and fast set of rules to be a volunteer with VolSol. All it takes is dedication, enthusiasm, sincerity, and patience. Anyone who has these qualities can be a volunteer in Tanzania.
However, there are certain basic prerequisites that one should keep in mind before planning to volunteer abroad.

  • The age of the interested candidate must be at least 17 years while applying for the project.
  • The participant must be ready to work hard and religiously.
  • The volunteer needs to have an open mind and a positive approach towards the project.
  • The volunteer has to be enthusiastic and creative.
  • Since there are programs associated with children, volunteers should not have any past record of criminal activities.
  • Interested participants should be of good mental and physical health.
  • Those who wish to join the medical/healthcare projects must be enrolled in Medical Studies. Professionals should have an experience Certificate/ Letter of Reference.

What kind of accommodation can I expect in Tanzania?

You shall have a “home away from home” experience while residing in Tanzania. Volunteering Solutions aims to provide cozy and comfortable accommodation facilities to all the participants, in an accessible location.

In Zanzibar, volunteers are accommodated at the volunteer house in the safe area of Mbweni just outside Stone Town and close to the Airport. Volunteers usually stay with the local coordinator, Francis, who’s always available for help. The house is big enough, with a huge living and dining area, and there’s a kitchen as well. While all the basic necessities will be available, we request you to carry your own toiletries.

In Arusha, volunteers are either accommodated at the volunteer house or at a hostel, depending on availability. Rooms will be provided on same gender sharing basis. There are clean toilets with geysers, mosquito nets, and other basic amenities. Host family accommodation facilities are also available, but we need to be informed if you wish to stay with a host family.

Volunteers will be provided with 2 to 3 meals a day, as mentioned in the Pre-Departure Guidebook.

What should I pack for my volunteer trip to Tanzania?

We would certainly suggest you travel light and not carry much luggage. A volunteering journey isn’t like a luxury holiday where you need too many clothes and shoes to dress up! It’s more about the experience. Here’s a basic list of things that you can pack, however, you can always reach out to us, in case you have any doubts.

– Pack light and comfortable clothes. Tanzania has tropical weather, hence T-shirts and cotton clothes would be perfect. If you are planning to go for treks, then you should carry warm clothes as well.
– Don’t forget to pack your toiletries.
– Carry mosquito repellent. Although we provide mosquito nets at the accommodation, it’s better to carry the repellents as well!
– Don’t forget to carry your camera – you’ll have to click a lot of pictures at the project site and also, while you go on safaris!
– Carry your scarves, sunglasses, and sunscreen lotion – they’ll be of much help!
– Volunteers joining the medical and healthcare projects can bring their coats, stethoscopes, and other scrubs that might be used at work.
– Volunteers joining projects with kids can bring books, colors, charts, etc. You’ll get the basic things at the local markets as well, only in case you find something unique, you can carry it along with you.

What are the DOs and DON’Ts that I need to follow while volunteering in Tanzania?

For more than 10 years, VolSol volunteers have traveled and worked in Tanzania and never did they face any problem with anything. There’s no such ‘rule book’ with decorums that one has to follow, but it’s always good to know about certain things while in a foreign country. This will help you to get along the natives easily and also stay safe when you are traveling alone.

DOs:

  • People in Tanzania are not quite fond of touching gestures and generally do not handshake. Do take note of how the locals greet each other or simply ask your local coordinator about how to greet someone.
  • Use your right hand for exchanging gifts and while eating.
  • Do dress conservatively. Carry clothes in which you are comfortable. Know that you aren’t traveling for a luxury holiday, hence you won’t need many clothes!
  • Do respect the local culture and traditions. Spend as much time as you can with the locals, and try to know them well. The Maasai Tribe is a unique tribe holding on to their culture and customs in this 21st Century.
  • Do some good bargaining while shopping at the local markets. People usually charge more from foreigners, but if you use your bargaining skills properly, you’ll get fair price deals.
  • Do try and learn a few local words such as Jambo (Hello), Asante Sana (Thank You), Shikamoo (greeting someone older than you), etc.

DON’Ts:

  • Don’t travel alone, especially at night. If you are going out somewhere, don’t forget to inform your coordinator about your plans. Also, keep the emergency contact numbers handy.
  • Avoid showing public display of affection too much in public with your partner. Being a developing country, it is not accepted in the Tanzanian culture. People have a very different mindset here, unlike that of the Europeans or Americans.
  • Don’t raise your voice while talking to someone, The people of this country are extremely soft-spoken.
  • Don’t be too concerned with timings – people, here, love to take their own sweet time to do their work.
  • Don’t waste food. Finish whatever is served to you on the plate. Tanzanians are very particular about their resources and wasting food isn’t appreciated at all.
  • Don’t smell the food that is served to you. Also, wash your hands, before and after eating your meal.
  • Don’t forget to use the mosquito net/ insect repellents before sleeping.
  • Don’t carry your important documents while you are traveling from one place to another within the country. It’s safer to leave your valuables at the accommodation.

Things To Do While Volunteering in Tanzania

One of the best things about volunteering in Tanzania is the opportunity that you’ll get to explore this beautiful nation with diverse landscapes. From day trips to weekend excursions as well as an extended stay after you complete your project work – there will be ample options for the things that you can do!

serengeti, tanzania

Go for wildlife safaris at Serengeti National Park

While in Tanzania, you just can’t afford to miss this! Home to thousands of wildebeests, zebras, lions, and elephants, this area has several other endangered and rare species that can be spotted. You can go for jeep safaris or take a hot air balloon ride – and enjoy the wilderness!

Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

Created by volcanic explosions, this area adjacent to the Serengeti also has a huge section of wildlife and forms yet another safari destination.

Visit the Maasai Villages

For a unique experience of the Tanzanian culture, you have to visit the Maasai Tribes and spend some time with them. It’ll be a whole new world for you, coming closer to people who still live behind in time. Know about their lifestyle and heritage, food habits, and much more, while interacting with the tribal folks.

Climb Mt.Kilimanjaro

If you are an adventure junkie and have an innate love for trekking, then you would love to go for a climb here! Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the best Trek points in the world. The mountain is surrounded by the UNESCO Heritage Reserve, and the view that you’ll get to see will surely leave a mark on your memories!

Take a tour of the local markets in Arusha

The best part of a volunteering journey is that you’ll get enough scope to mingle with the locals, shop and eat the way they do, and live a life similar to theirs! Go shopping at the local markets and pick up souvenirs that you can take back home.

Relax by the beaches in Zanzibar

An exotic destination for beach lovers, the vast stretches of sandy beaches will absolutely make you fall in love with Zanzibar. If you get tired after a week’s work, then you can just go to the beaches and relax, and binge on cheap local food. There are also options for several water sports, including Scuba Diving and snorkeling. The East Coast of the island has incredible coral reefs, ideal for Scuba Diving.

Apart from these, volunteers in Zanzibar have several other things to do like shopping at the Spice Market, visiting the Jozani Forest Reserve, taking a day trip to Mnemba Atoll, etc. All you need to do is – PLAN! And discuss your plans with the country coordinator, so that he can assist you and give you the best suggestions.

Why should I choose VolSol to volunteer in Tanzania?

Almost every person who decides to travel abroad to volunteer has some doubts and faces the trouble of choosing one organization through which they can fulfill their dreams. When we ask you to join our programs, it’s obvious that this particular question will come to your mind.

With its presence in 19 destinations all across the globe, Volunteering Solutions provides a plethora of volunteering programs in each of these destinations.

In the last 10 years, since its inception, Vol Sol has placed more than 12,000 international volunteers on different projects as well as internship programs and has helped them nurture in their personal and professional lives.

Vol Sol values the importance of ethical and successful volunteering, and through its deep knowledge in this field, it places a candidate into a program that suits him/her the best, according to the field of interest, skills, and educational background.

Vol Sol is associated with local NGOs, schools, hospitals, orphanages, HIV/AIDS clinics, women’s groups and other social welfare organizations across the globe. It is ensured by the dedicated VolSol team that volunteers/interns have a smooth and memorable journey while traveling, and they get to learn from their peers as well.

From the time a candidate generates a query, through the process of clearing doubts, filling out the application form, making payments, accessing to Pre-Departure Guidebook, and reaching the volunteering placement location followed by Program Orientation – the VolSol Team takes care of everything. We have in-country coordinators and representatives who are specially appointed to help volunteers at the project sites.

Apart from these, Vol Sol provides help in various important divisions, such as;
● Providing Medical and Travel insurance at a nominal extra cost
● Raising fund for volunteers who face financial crunch to sponsor their trip
● Safaris and tour package to explore Tanzania
● Vehicle facilities for local traveling and airport drop for a minimal extra cost

Reviews From Past Volunteers Who’ve Worked In Tanzania

paul“My overall experience was great! I think it was because of the program I did as well as all the different people I met there. I also enjoyed going out and seeing some parts of Arusha and thought that the weekend trips helped make lasting memories.

The house was clean and spacious and in a good neighborhood. The food was alright.
I really enjoyed working on the project, and I think that the experience is definitely worthwhile. Again, I liked the independence that volunteers were given to go and help and organize themselves. The chance to take some load of the kids felt great. I think other than developing an attachment to the kids, another highlight was working with other volunteers and learning from them.”  Paul van Trotsenburg (United States) 

 

Mami Kawaguchi“It was my first experience to teach English and Math for foreign students. Firstly, I was very nervous, but gradually, I’d got along with them and I found that each student has their personality and advantages (and disadvantages). I hope I could spend more time with them and teach them. This experience has made me confident to spend time with children, and it will be very useful for my future career.

The house was comfortable and clean. All foods were very delicious. Local coordinator was very nice, flexible and his English is perfect. We could talk about our interests sometimes at night.

Thank you very much for all your support. I would like to join again in the future if I have chances! I strongly recommend joining the volunteer program to my friends.”Mami Kawaguchi (United Kingdom)


You can read more Reviews from the volunteers on our Facebook Page.
Also, take a quick look at the amazing photographs that our volunteers share with us, on our Instagram profile.

For more information about volunteering in Tanzania, you can simply drop us an email at [email protected]

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