We are STEP Africa – Exchange for Change, a Tanzanian
social enterprise that was founded in German-Tanzanian cooperation in
2014. We organize and supervise meaningful and ethical volunteer
placements and internships in Arusha, Northern Tanzania. Till date we
have hosted over 1000 interns and volunteers from all over the world.
our programs we aim to contribute towards international understanding
and give our participants intercultural and global ability to act. With
the support of our participants we are committed to worthy projects and
initiatives in Tanzania. We believe that working together in
intercultural teams by exchanging ideas and viewpoints will let everyone
involved, Organizations such as volunteers and interns, benefit in the
Our team combines relevant qualifications and many years
of experience in project coordination, volunteer mediation and social
work in Tanzania and abroad. Our supervisors are available as contact
persons on site at any time for our volunteers and projects. We offer
our volunteers the opportunity to use their knowledge in Tanzania to get
involved in meaningful projects and to gain valuable professional
experience in different fields such as Social Work, Women’s Rights,
Primary Schools, Daycare Center, Health Care, Animal Welfare and
We firmly believe in the power of change through intercultural exchange. With
our programs we promote and demand equal rights and cultural tolerance.
We place our volunteers exclusively in projects in which they can gain
valuable experience for their future. Our volunteers do not replace
local employees. Volunteers are assistants who offer support to local
staff and, for example, perform tasks for which there is otherwise too
little time. It is important to us that we only place our volunteers in
projects that share our values towards international volunteering.
Volunteers are encouraged to start fundraisers for their respective
institutions in Tanzania before, during or after their stay in Arusha.
We have experienced great success with this in the past and present and
saw our volunteers making great impacts in this area as well. We are
connected to several European NGOs founded by our former volunteers that
are continuing to support and promote their former work institutions
here in Tanzania.
Mbwa wa Africa (“African Dog”) is an animal shelter with an
attached veterinary clinic in the village of Sanganano, Usa River,
surrounded by forests and located in the immediate vicinity of Arusha
National Park. The shelter was founded in 2012 by two Germans (Sandra
and Jens), initially in their own garden. Since then, the organisation
has grown massively and is a permanent contact point for animal owners
and animal welfare activists in Arusha.
takes in injured and abused street dogs, treats them and then places
them in responsible hands. Cats and other animals are also repeatedly
taken in at the shelter. In addition, Mbwa wa Africa carries out
systematic spay and neuter and rabies vaccination campaigns to put a
stop to the government’s current practice of regularly shooting street
Many of the dogs are traumatised
and need special attention and care. Among others, numerous paralysed
dogs also live permanently at Mbwa wa Africa. All dogs are walked daily,
and helping hands are always needed. Taking care of sick and injured
dogs, as well as teaching basic commands are also part of the
volunteers’ tasks. Since the shelter is located a bit outside and can
only be reached by piki piki (motorbike taxi), you should plan on paying
about 25 euros per person per week as travel costs.
and Jens are passionate about their work and have given many former
street dogs a home themselves. If you have just such a heart for
animals, you are in good hands as a volunteer here! Qualified volunteers
are also welcome to help in the veterinary clinic.
volunteers at Mbwa wa Africa are firmly integrated into the work
schedule, a full-time stay of at least four weeks is mandatory (5 days
in shifts, including weekends). Travel and visits to other projects
should not take place during this time.
Further important Information:
In order to work at Mbwa wa Africa Animal Rescue you need to have an up to date Rabies Vaccination as well as the COVID-19 vaccination. For the participation in the animal shelter also a mandatory volunteer donation
(100$ for the first month, 25$ for each additional week) is required
that has to be made on the first project day. All donations are in good
hands at the shelter and are urgently needed for paying food, veterinary
expenses, operations, medication, the purchase of wheelchairs for
paralyzed dogs, etc. Additional fundraisers are strongly supported but
The money can also be transferred to the German association Tierhilfe Tansania e.V. then you will get a tax deductible donation receipt.
The shelter mainly needs good bandages
(self-adhesive bandages, etc.), pantanths and penthanol cream, disinfectant
sprays and diapers to be able to take good care of their injured dogs. Toys, leashes,
collars and treats are not absolutely necessary, but are still welcome.
Donations of money are in good hands at the shelter and are urgently needed for
operations, medication, the purchase of wheelchairs for paralyzed dogs, food,
For a small fee, you are welcome to join the local workers for lunch.
Preparing for a volunteering assignment abroad isn't always a simple task as there is a lot to keep in mind. Our team will be there for you along the way. We have our own STEP Africa Volunteer Area. Once you apply and we confirm your application you will get online access to this area where you find a detailed 90 pages preparation handbook as well as many further updates & information and the contacts of other volunteers travelling at the same time as you. In case of any questions you will always be able to reach us via E-Mail or Phone / WhatsApp.
On the Ground Support and Emergency Availability
The whole STEP Africa Team is on the ground in Tanzania. We are like an extended family and you will always be able to talk to us in case of any problems, questions or if you simply want to have a chat. We are there for you! Of course we are available 24/7 in case of any emergency.
Vaccinations/ Medical Care in Tanzania
We recommend that you consult your trusted travel doctor for individual advice on travel vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. There aren't any mandatory vaccinations for entering Tanzania and the risk of contracting malaria is considered very low in Arusha due to the altitude. If you plan a trip to the island of Zanzibar, you will need to get a yellow fever shot as it is mandatory there.
Arusha has some good private medical facilities, so in case you fall ill you will be in safe hands.
to work at Mbwa wa Africa Animal Rescue you need to have an up to date Rabies
Booking of Flights and Insurances
flights and respective travel insurance is not included in our fees and
will be your own responsibility. This however is an advantage for you,
as you will be able to scan for the best and most affordable offers from
your home country or country of residence. Of course we are always
happy to help and offer advice in case you are unsure what is the best
solution for you. Our arrival day is Thursday and our departure day is
Wednesday. Please take this into account when booking your flights.
order to volunteer in Tanzania you will need a Visa for Humanitarian
and Charity Activities which costs $100 for US-citizens and $50 for
citizens of all other countries. This visa is valid for 3 months. Those
planning to stay for up to 6 months will need a visa extension which
costs $300 ($250 for non US-citizens respectively)
received the "Safe Travels Stamp" from the World Travel and Tourism
Council. There are currently no entry requirements such as PCR-Test or
vaccination. However, the Baby Home only accept volunteers who are
vaccinated against COVID-19.