Volunteer at this small primary school and orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania and assist with the improvement of the children’s educational possibilities.
About the Program
Tanzania is heavily influenced by the high rates of poverty and HIV-infections. The number of orphans and street children grows continuously. Many children have no parents or their parents cannot take care of them due to poverty. Many children are therefore raised by their grandparents, who are often too old to take care of them or other members of the extended family. Some children hardly get anything to eat all day and they don’t go to school as there are no finances to provide them with the compulsory uniforms. Many different local organizations try to protect these children by offering education and helping them to develop life skills. The schools and orphanages are however struggling, because they lack resources and are under-staffed. Their main focus is to educate and support disadvantaged and vulnerable children, while helping to uplift the community through improving education, health care, skills development, income generating programs and afterschool support.
The possibilities for volunteering are very diverse and challenging; you will be living and working directly with the local community. You will get acquainted with the circumstances in which most of the people in Tanzania live and get to know about their culture and every day struggles. Despite seeing hardship and poverty, you will also see the beauty of Tanzania and meet its friendly people. You will be able to contribute to the differences these programs make for the children of Ngaramtoni in Arusha, which can provide them with better opportunities in the future and the love and care they deserve.
Khaya Volunteer Projects works in the area of Ngaramtoni on the outskirts of Arusha with our local partner and we support several good causes:
Tunawapenda Childcare Center
This Center was newly registered and officially established in September 2013 by our coordinator Charles, and offers a variety of programs that can benefit from your support. These programs are based at the volunteer accommodation where the children live as well. At the moment 7 children reside with Charles and his family; 4 girls and 3 boys in the ages of 5-9 years old. Most children have been living here for 4 years or longer and although some still have living relatives, few of them will be looked after in a good way if they would be living with family due to their poverty, mental health issues of parents and challenging living conditions.
If you would like to bring any donations for the program, there is always a need for toys, clothing for children (2-10 years), and clothing for older children and adults; stationary (pens, coloring crayons, paper, etc.), arts and crafts material and any sports equipment would be appreciated.
St. Paskazia English Medium School
This school was built by coordinator Charles with the help of various volunteers in the past and although not finished yet, it is providing daily education to the children of this community. The school provides pre-primary education to about 100 children, between the ages of 3 and 10 years, in 3 classrooms. The school building is in the process of being built and due to financial constraints the other 2 classrooms are not yet in use as there is no roof yet.
The school is open for 5 days a week from 8AM until 15PM and has 5 different classes. Due to the limited space available at the moment with only 3 classrooms with a roof the different grades share class rooms at the moment which can be a challenge but we work with what is possible at the moment!
Volunteers can mostly be involved in assisting the teachers to improve their teaching skills and supporting educational material, assisting children with special needs (one-on-one teaching), arts and crafts and sports activities.
The teachers teach the children in English and basic Swahili but the level of English remains quite basic for most teachers and their conversations and discussions around educational topics with volunteers have increased the quality of their level of English and created new views on education on general.
The most important focus of any volunteers should be focused on the bigger needs of the school and not replacing teachers in front of the class room. Volunteers can work from their own desk in the shared classroom which is also part kitchen, the Head of Teachers office and staff meeting room and work on educational material, marking tests, preparing examinations, doing admin and looking at the general needs of the school. They can assist in one of the class rooms with some lessons and working closely with the teachers
Previous volunteers have contributed immensely by beautifying the school and class rooms, as well as developing teaching material, making educational posters, teaching the children new songs and assisting with fundraising.
During the holiday months this school remains open with an adapted program and volunteers can focus their attention on more fun activities and spending time with the children as well as taking part of family and community based visits.
In the Childcare Center support with general childcare is always needed. The extra attention and care that volunteers can give, assists the program to offer the best care possible.
There is an ongoing need for financial support to improve the circumstances, teaching materials and the buildings, which can be hugely insufficient for their purpose. Your help as a volunteer is hugely appreciated and offers support to the staff that makes do with very limited resources.
Apart from volunteering your time, some volunteers also want to assist financially by fundraising. Any possible gifts and donations provided by volunteers and their network are extremely appreciated. Instead of collecting goods and materials beforehand, it is recommended that you purchase and donate this on location. Some of the biggest needs are improvements of the schools, the orphanages and developing the money generating programs.
Donations from volunteers have helped built the school, provided for school fees for many children, provided families with chickens coops and chickens to generate income from eggs and selling chickens, providing uniforms and school needs to individual children and much more.
There are many different tasks and activities in which you can be involved in. The coordinator will discuss the activities, your skills, abilities and wishes with you. Some activities that you might be involved in are:
In Arusha you can go on Safari, there is a national park where you can spot a lot of animals. You can do sport activities here as well, like hiking or canoeing. There are hiking trails in a park, climb up a mountain and you will see a stunning view! Furthermore you can do some cultural tours where you will experience the real culture of Arusha. In Arusha you can go to the local market where you can find some souvenirs to buy before you go home!
Please take note that we keep our costs as low as possible and welcome you to compare prices with other organizations and to look at hidden costs. Our prices include all expenses and an income for local staff and your host family.
Being as affordable as possible will however not offer you luxury accommodation and meals but an authentic experience living with a local family and seeing their daily lives.
Costs will cover the following:
Airport pickup is NOT INCLUDED in the program fee, however it can be arranged for your convenience.
Airport transfer Return 50 USD or Bus station transfer Return 20 USD.
You are most likely to arrive in Arusha by bus from Dar es Salaam or Nairobi (Kenya) or by air to either Arusha airport (domestic) or Mount Kilimanjaro International airport (direct flights from many international destinations). At any point of arrival, the coordinator will welcome you personally to take you to the volunteer house. Please keep in mind that there are additional costs involved for the pickups of 50 USD from Kilimanjaro Airport or 20 USD from Arusha Airport or any other pick up point in Arusha. These additional costs need to be paid in cash to Charles.
In case of any delays or changed travel schedules please contact Charles on +255 (0) 76 8210211. Take this number with you, so you can reach him in case things change.
After arriving you will be given some time to freshen up and have a walk around to see the surroundings and meet all the children and staff.
Your accommodation is in Ngaramtoni, one of the outside areas of Arusha. The house is situated in a very green and friendly village surrounding with banana, cassava and maize plantations all around.
You will stay at the Childcare Center, where maximum 12 volunteers can stay with Charles and his family as well as the 7 children and 2 staff members. The children live in a separate building next to the main house and are supervised at night by the 2 child care workers also living there.
The Mazulla family consists of father Charles, his wife Anna, son Waidi (born 2014), son Joel (born 2000) and staff members Mary and Jessica who are both in their 20’s and live with the family helping them to cook and look after the children. The oldest daughter Paskazia lives in the USA and is studying to become a doctor. As normal in Tanzania, there are also other family members who come and go and form part of the extended family.
Sleeping arrangements are in 3 bedrooms, exclusively for our volunteers, each offering 2 bunk beds making a total capacity of 12 volunteers but generally we have 1-4 volunteers at the same time. Due to different times of volunteers coming and going, it can therefore be needed to share a room with 2 or 3 other volunteers. A blanket and a sheet are provided but please bring your own towels. Bringing your own sleeping bag is useful, as you will also need this for some safaris.
Please be aware that Tanzania struggles with various challenges that you at home take for granted such as electricity outages almost on a daily basis for 2-4 hours. Clean water remains a challenge as the water supply comes from the volcanic area around Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro and contains high levels of fluoride making it unfit to drink. Drinking water is therefore bought from local vendors who come to the house and the water is boiled to make it perfectly safe to drink for you. If you prefer mineral water you can buy bottled water for TsH 1000 (0.50 EUR) for 1.5 liters. Water for showering, washing, flushing toilets and other needs is brought to the house with buckets so be prepared to put in some effort and consciousness about your water usage.
Even though the living standards are quite different from what you know, you will get used to it within a couple of days, if you are open-minded and want to experience life the Tanzanian way. This is how local people live so go with the flow and you will learn that things we normally are used to can be very different in Africa!
Tanzanian meals are different from western meals and we encourage you to eat what the family eats, otherwise you are free to buy and cook your own food. Three meals are prepared daily for you, which will be local food mostly made up of rice, beans, banana, yams and cassava but also meat and spaghetti. Fruit will be available at most meals as well as tea and coffee.
Meals can be very basic in western eyes, but bread with butter and tea for breakfast is very normal in Tanzania. You are welcome to supplement the meals with whatever you like of course at your own expense. Lunch and dinner are usually cooked meals and either eaten individually when hungry (meals are setup on the dining room table and you eat when you want to) or occasionally together with the family and/or other volunteers.
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