Special Needs and Assisting Disabled Children

founded in 2019
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Coordinator | Schola
Coordinator | Schola
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Heighten cross-cultural learning and global understanding.
Increase access to education.
Promote health and wellbeing
Support community development
Economic development of communities.
This project is a great way for compassionate and caring individuals to support disabled children across the country. This program welcomes everyone to volunteer. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
The special needs project in Tanzania is a great way for compassionate and caring individuals to support disabled children across the country. In this project, the volunteers are expected to assist professionals in the centers or work first handedly with the children who have learning
disabilities. These disabilities can include being deaf or mute, physical disabilities, down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy. The activities include socializing, physiotherapy, speech therapy, teaching basic education, cleaning, and facility maintenance.
Teacher challenges such as a lack of trained staff, a negative cultural perception toward disabilities, and a lack of relevant information and training for various special needs cases.

What to expect
The project involves work
This program welcomes everyone to volunteer, especially those with medical experience or a professional background in special needs care. It is a very crucial project as there is an inadequacy of facilities and materials necessary for appropriate service provision in education, treatment and care. There are othing with special needs children in a supporting role; you will be observing, participating in assisting and nursing, assisting in the workload, as well as fun and games for the children’s play time. It is better to approach this project with limited or no expectations, as these centers have different conditions than what you may be used to. Any activity can be assigned to any volunteer. Expect to be proactive and prompt.

What not to expect
Limit your expectations, the work is fulfilling but not easy as our conditions in Africa derive unique approaches to everything. The centers are underfunded and not well equipped to cater to all the needs that the special needs children require. We encourage you to embrace the norms and be a part of the change and ensure the locals learn from you as well.

What are the centers like?
Some have enough qualified professionals, and some don’t. Some professionals are more accepting in involving volunteers, where others are reluctant. There are barriers to communication such as language and experience. The focus is not to ignore each other, but to work together, share your knowledge, skills, and applicable resource utilization strategies. Participate in planning activities and create relationships with the professionals and the children;  they are friendly and love that you are there to work with them. The supportive role you play as a volunteer is temporary, so make sure you make the most of the chances you have. Use relations and experience to nurture the childrens' will and esteem, as well as sharing the right skills and experiences required to ensure good living conditions for them.

What are the children like?
The children are playful and extremely fond of volunteers as they participate in lessons and games very willingly. In the special needs group, the children will have communication barriers; therefore it requires patience and dedication to work with them. It is important to cater to all their needs, but that won’t make it impossible to work with them. They appreciate the attention given, and the time spent with them will be very memorable.

Duties and tasks
The project involves caring for the special needs children and catering to their needs and wants in accordance to their disabilities, playing with and caring for the them, assisting the professionals and staff in action plans, cooking, and cleaning. Participation in any of these activities depends on how comfortable you are with tending to the task provided. If a volunteer feels uncomfortable with a task, it is okay to be substituted with a member of staff.

  • Culture shock
  • Inexperienced care for special needs children. If you are not confident, you do not have to tend to them alone, but with expert supervision instead.
  • Firsthand experience on how poverty affects the livelihoods of the people, especially the disabled.
  • Expectations. With high expectations, it is easy to be disappointed by the lags and reluctance to be involved, especially with impatience to reach perfection.
  • Gain more experience and friends working with the special needs children as well as the local professionals.
  • Participate in making a better life for people who lack the resources to do so for themselves.
  • Arusha is a beautiful tourist city with much to appreciate. The people are welcoming, and the landscape and sceneries are magnificent.
  • Take the opportunity to travel and socialize on the weekends. There are many spots for leisure and fun.
What can I bring?
You are not required to bring anything to your volunteer placements, but if you feel like donating and sharing it will be appreciated. There are many needs due to the limited resources the centers have. In regards to the vast needs of the special needs children, assistance is always appreciated as it improves the living standards of the beneficiaries. 

Typical day

In general, volunteers have the freedom to choose how they spend the day. However, a daily routine is recommended and may be coordinated with the project coordinators based on your program. A general day may look like this:

  • Breakfast between 6:30 and 7:30am
  • Commuting to placement via public transport 
  • During your time at the center, you will observe culture differences within the practice in Tanzania. According to your skills, qualifications, and experience, you will have many opportunities to interact with the children. 
  • The hours are usually from 8:30am-3:00pm depending on how busy the day is.
  • Lunch between 12:30am and 3:00pm either at the placement or at the accommodation
  • Placements end usually between 2pm and 4pm depending on the project
  • Free time for the rest of the day and preparation for the placement the day after (if necessary)
  • Dinner between 6:30pm and 7:30pm
  • Visiting a house of babies after you come back from your placement or during the weekend.

Free-time activities

Day trips

  • Walter falls 
  • Zip line 
  • Coffee and banana plantation
  • Visit a Maasai village, where you will learn and see the lifestyle of the strongest culture in Africa.
  • Hiking and climbing the mountains such as Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
  • Visit Zanzibar for diving and water sports

Tours and Safaris

  • Visit Ngorongoro national park, where you can go down into the historical crater conservation
  • Serengeti national park 
  • Manyara national park
  • Mikumi national park, and many more!

Water Sports
Winter Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
This program welcomes anyone with passionate and compassion.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 12:00

What's Included

Services by Natembelea Africa V Residence

The program fee includes:

  • Airport pickup from Kilimanjaro International Airport/ Arusha Airport
  • Bus Station pick up
  • Wi-Fi (Limited)
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Orientation & Town tour
  • A basic Swahili lesson

Airport Pickup at Kilimanjaro International Airport

The program fee includes airport pickup. It takes 45 to 60 minutes to ride to Arusha from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). You will be picked up by a coordinator with a driver from our ground team. The ground team will be active to get to the airport on time and communicate well.

Note: When you exit the arrivals area you will see a coordinator with a sign of Natembelea Africa Volunteer Residency logo. Please don't look for your name, look for the sign. Wave and our team will see you. On the way to the volunteer house, the coordinator will give you a short briefing about the country and Arusha in general. We will give you a paper with your name, with full information about your placement and details.

You will get to meet and know the ground team while giving you a house tour. We will show you your room, and the next day you will have orientation.


Volunteers in Arusha are accommodated in a volunteer house and home stay. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one to five other volunteers of the same gender. The  house provides a comfortable and warm stay with running water and electricity. However, it is important to note that there are often power outages which may affect availability of hot water. Bedding is provided, which includes a pillow with pillow case, bottom and top sheet. You will need to bring your own towel and toiletries. 

In the volunteer house, there is a cook who prepares meals and a cleaner who keeps the place clean and tidy. Safety is paramount, therefore there is also a security guard during day and night. Staff members are available on a daily basis during the week, and via phone over the weekend. All volunteers under the age of 18 years are accommodated in a separate room in the volunteer house. To access the internet during your program, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card in Arusha. The local staff will assist you with this upon arrival.

Food & Beverages

One of the greatest ways to explore Tanzania is to eat like the locals. To make things easy for you, your program fee covers the cost of your main meals, which will be cooked by the in-house mamas.

Because we choose to partner with international people, the mamas will usually be cooking food typical to the Tanzanian taste. This is an authentic way to get a taste of the wonderful flavors of Arusha, and immerse yourself fully in the local culture.

All programs will include options for vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and other diets. You should note any dietary requirements in your application so we can make sure the program caters to your needs beforehand. 

The number of meals provided varies from program to program. Our programs fee covers breakfast, lunch, dinner.

The project fee includes three meals per day, 7 days per week. Meals generally consist of authentic Tanzanian cuisine, with some western style dishes. A typical breakfast may entail eggs, bread with butter and jam, pancakes, fruits, tea and coffee.

Lunch and dinner usually contain options of meat and fish as well as vegetables and fruits. Rice, potatoes, pasta, and fries may be served, topped with typical Tanzanian sauces and stews.

We are extremely mindful of food allergies and will adapt to requests accordingly.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Kilimanjaro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Tanzania.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Tanzania provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Tanzania you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Tanzania.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Program duration
Program Start Dates: 1st and 15th of every month
The Program commencement includes the night before your start date. If you choose to arrive before the starting date, you will have to pay extra according to the days of your stay.
  • The duration of your stay and program is counted in weeks. For instance, if a volunteer is registered for 4 weeks and the start date is January 1st, the program fee accommodates the night of December 31st until January 28th respectively.
  • Travel and leisure holidays are of no exception; they are within the program duration. If a day or more is taken for travels in the 4 week program, the end date will remain the same.
  • There is the possibility for program extension whenever necessary. A one day extension costs 20 USD, where as more than a week would be assigned program fees in regard to the duration of the stay. It is advised that if volunteers require an extension, they should provide a week's notice prior to the end of their original program.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 6 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$169 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Natembelea Africa V Residence will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Natembelea Africa V Residence during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Special Needs and Assisting Disabled Children

This project is a great way for compassionate and caring individuals to support disabled children across the country. This program welcomes everyone to volunteer.


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