Looking for an unforgettable volunteer experience? Join us at Tabasamu by taking care, teaching and playing with our lovely and joyful children. You won't regret it!
At Tabasamu, volunteers are welcome to live an amazing experience by spending time with our lovely children. Our children are orphans or been taken away from their families due to the vulnerable conditions they were living in. The families of these children passed away or are too poor to offer a good and healthy life for them. By volunteering with us, you can take care of them, play with them, teach them some English and most importantly share all your love with them. We offer a unique experience as you would be living at the orphanage with our children, thus you would live their day to day life, enjoying unforgettable moments with them and build an incomparable connection.
Tabasamu is located in USA River, Arusha, Tanzania. You will have an authentic local experience, learn about the culture, and create lasting memories. Feel welcomed and know that all help is greatly appreciated, with open hearts we invite you to stay with us!
A typical day at Tabasamu begins early in the morning around 7 am with breakfast. Kids usually have porridge or cooked bananas, and we always offer Chai tea to our volunteers. Then the kids leave for school, our staff (and sometimes volunteers) assist the children in walking to the main road, getting on a daladala (local transportation) and arriving at school. If you are interested, you can offer to volunteer at their school, teaching or playing games with all of the children during breaks. The school staff is very kind and located on a beautiful piece of property, nestled away from the noisy city. The school our children attend is a private school and therefore includes English classes. If you speak English, it's no problem to work there. School lets out at 12:30pm and the children are escorted back to Tabasamu, where they arrive around 1 - 2. Then it's time for lunch. Usually the smaller children who do not attend school have all ready eaten. If you choose to stay at the orphanage during the morning hours, expect to be washing dishes or helping to prepare lunch. In your spare time, you can play games with the smaller children and help them get a head start on school by going over numbers or the alphabet. They love attention and will play endlessly. After lunch, you can help the house mamas in washing up the dishes. All of the children have study time for half an hour after lunch. They'll do their homework, and the smaller ones will work on numbers, alphabet, or learning some English words. After study time, it's nap time! All kids lay down for a nap, and sometimes even the house mamas join. Naps are not frowned upon, especially during this hottest part of our day, so if you feel inclined to rest, it's a good time to do so. Around 5 pm everyone wakes up and then it's playtime! You have plenty of time to relax and have fun. Lots of local neighborhood children like to come by and play, so there's usually around 15 kids here playing outside on our swing set. You can play tag, get out the toys, and just have fun. It gets dark out around 7pm, kids come inside and take showers. Then we draw or play in the common area until dinner time, which is usually served at 8pm. After dinner, the kids may play for a bit longer, but soon it's time for bed. You can help pick up the toys that's been strewn about. Kids will be in bed by 10pm to rest up for the next day. On the weekends, our mornings differ, as the children do not have to attend school, so they can just relax and play. On Sundays we will sometimes take them to Sunday school. We have busy but fun filled days at Tabasamu.
Africa is a universe composed of countless different cultures of tradition and Tanzania is one of its most meaningful lands where you can explore places such as the Maasai Market in Arusha, Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Island and natural parks to enjoy Safaris like Ngorongoro and Serengeti. We can assist you in arranging for these safari trips, climbs up Mount Kilimanjaro (or other nature hikes), or a week trip to the beaches of Zanzibar. Seeing the animals of Africa in their natural habitat, outside of a zoo, is one of the most thrilling experiences one can have. The animals are majestic and awe inspiring. The historical island of Zanzibar offers an array of cultural mashups, that has lead this island to having one of the most special cuisines in the world. The sights, sounds, and smells of Zanzibar can only be truly experienced there, a second hand story is not enough.
Simple ensuite, large bedroom with bunkbeds to be shared with other volunteers (mosquito nets provided). The door has a lock, so if you need privacy or feel the need to lock it while gone, you're able to do so. We also provide a bathroom, equipped with working sink, Western style toilet, and shower that's connected to the volunteer room. You do not need to share this with the children or staff.
We provide three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for volunteers. Vegetarian meals are available. Volunteers would have to buy their own bottled water. We have a tap available out in the yard, in case you bring a water bottle with a filter, you can refill as many times as you like. Food/snacks, water or personal hygiene products are available at local shops nearby. The food provided normally consists of beans, maize, rice and ugali (traditional Tanzanian food).