Volunteer In Tanzania

General Information

When you volunteer in Tanzania you travel to Moshi at the foot of the Kilimanjaro.

If you close your eyes and you think about the typical romantic image of Africa, images of Tanzania will most likely appear; the migration of wild animals along a seemingly endless savannah; the snow and glaciers of the Kilimanjaro; the majestic Masai warriors; the exotic palm-beaches of Zanzibar. It is all there.
 
Tanzania has some of the most impressive national parks and wildlife reserves in Africa. The Serengeti National Park is considered the most important place on the continent to see how wildlife roams freely through the vast plains.
 
The largest population of African mammals lives within the steep walls of the Ngorongoro Crater. We certainly can’t forget the Selous wildlife reserve and is listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
 
Even further down the road you find parks in the far west of the country that offer the unique opportunity to track down chimpanzees in their natural habitat on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, one of the largest lakes in Africa.
 
Also, Tanzania has a beautiful coastline of 804 km pearly white beaches with a number of beautiful islands off the coast. Known as the Swahili Coast, this was a favorite stop on ancient trade routes between the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. Spices, jewels and slaves passed by and brought along a mix of cultural differences that are still visible today.
 
Tanzania also has no shortage of mountains. The most striking is of course the snow-covered Kilimanjaro and is also the highest mountain in Africa with 5,895 m.
 
Tanzania has more than 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, but it has seen little ethnic or religious violence that has affected other nations in the region. In fact, the country is a quiet place and embraces its multicultural heritage, which contributes to its broad appeal.

volunteer in tanzania
Masai men in the Serengeti

About Moshi

Moshi, located at the bottom of the Kilimanjaro, is the coffee-producing center of the country. Around the city and on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro, you find large plantations covering the area.
 
Coffee is the center of life in Moshi. The seasonal coffee auctions, where wholesale coffee is offered, packaged and sold to international buyers, is an event that you should not miss when you are in the city. In addition to the coffee auction, Moshi’s coffee roasting plant provides a wonderful smelling insight into the production of this famous beverage. Sugar plantations are also crucial for the economy of the region.
 
Walks around Moshi and a visit to the coffee plantations, are activities for which most visitors come to Moshi. But the main reason why visitors come to Moshi is for the Kilimanjaro, the mountain whose thick clouds and snow-covered top towers above the agricultural city. Climbing expeditions leave early in the morning from the city to the Kilimanjaro National Park.
 
Whether you are in Moshi to head to the top of Africa or to learn more about coffee growing and production, Moshi is an oasis of calm and peaceful tranquility, whose quiet streets offer a warm welcome in beautiful surroundings.

volunteer in tanzania
The small town of Moshi with the Kilimanjaro at the background.

Projects In Tanzania

You work for an NGO that offers customized care by empowering children with a mental disability and their families. We believe that, together with the local partners, we can develop qualitative self-reliance (adapted to the disabilities: of  babies, children and adults). With this development, they become aware of they create their disability into an ability.
 
The exchange of therapeutic and educational expertise, both technical and material, will enable our Tanzanian partners to fulfill their role in the special education and healthcare system. This is made possible thanks to the enthusiasm of our volunteers and the cooperation with local and other stakeholders. Our cooperation is based on a respectful dialogue, the exchange of knowledge, taking into account the long-term cooperation.

Caregiving

Your duties include conducting a diagnostic examination based on tests, interviews, observations and questionnaires. Recording data, research and test results in files. Supporting and providing information to those directly involved such as parents / guardians, any other family members, counselors.
Providing advice on, but not limited of didactic programs, teaching methods and pedagogical techniques
 
We provide the opportunity to offer this kind of support both in our center and at home.
 
Minimum: 4 weeks
 
Schedule: continuous
 
Requirements:
You are an enthusiastic student / volunteer with some experience but maybe more important a volunteer with a big heart for children / youth with a mental disability. You are a person who wants to give this target group a future. You are specialized in development issues. You are willing to guide children with disabilities towards self-reliance together with us.

Healthcare

Your duties include diagnosing and drawing up a treatment plan and goals together with our local team. Together we investigate what the client finds important and observe the client to be able to determine what the limitations and possibilities are in their daily activities. 

When we have a clear picture of the situation, you make a clear description of the situation. This way, goals are set and determined how these goals can be achieved through advice, training and practical solutions in combination with any temporary or permanent resources. The ultimate goal is to help clients function (again) as independently as possible.
 
Minimum: 4 weeks
 
Schedule: Continuous
 
Requirements:
You are an enthusiastic student / volunteer with some experience but maybe more important a volunteer with a big heart for children / youth with a mental disability. You are a person who wants to give this target group a future. You are specialized in development issues. You are willing to guide children with disabilities towards self-reliance together with us.

Agriculture

As a gardener you teach the parents and children, but also the local team, how to grow vegetables and create a vegetable garden. You help with the construction of a food hedge. Making the bottle project a success together with the children and parents. Both for vegetables and for irrigation. By recycling bottles, we want to do our bit for the environment.

  • Designing green spaces
  • Performing maintenance work such as pruning, mowing grass, weeding, fertilizing, replanting trees and plants, cutting hedges, etc.
  • Placing plant protection and plant supports
  • Checking the condition of trees and plants (including pests and diseases)
  • Installing irrigation systems
  • Growing plants with cuttings and / or seed
  • Be involved in the construction and maintenance of green areas such as a food hedge
  • Maintenance and repair of garden tools and equipment
  • Implementing the project organization
  • Managing employees
  • Provide guidance and manage the children
  • teach children ecological gardening in an understandable way.
  • Together with the children and their parents and the help of our local team, facilitate income generation .

 
Minimum: 4 weeks
 
Schedule: We work from Monday to Friday, hours 7.30 am – 15.30 pm
 
Requirements:

  • Managing children with disabilities does not scare you.
  • You are respectful.
  • Experience in gardening / ecological gardeningGood collaboration skills.
  • Team player.
  • Able to work with limited resources.
  • Able to communicate with a very limited common language base.
  • Knowledge of English.
  • Patient.
  • Open minded.
  • Positive attitude.


What we offer:

  • An effective impact on the lives of dozens of children with mental disabilities and their families
  • A challenging environment and working with local organizations
  • Further development of an impactful NGO in Moshi, Tanzania
  • A unique and educational life experience.

Our Local Team In Tanzania

Volunteer in Tanzania

Henny

Project Consultant

In 1999 Henny went to Tanzania for the first time as supervisor of a student group. In Dodoma, Henny mainly worked as a volunteer in a technical school. In the meantime, she met various volunteers and together they started our projects in Tanzania.

volunteer in Tanzania

Sanctus

Project Consultant​ Support

Henny’s personal support. He likes football and music. He studied Wildlife at the University of Moshi.

volunteer in Tanzania

Abdullah

Operations Manager

Is the manager and very passionate. Has been paralyzed in his legs since 2000. But the power he emits is a motivation for everyone. He made his wheelchair fit in his car so that he can function independently as good as possibly. All respect for Abdullah. He is the father of a son and a daughter.

volunteer in Tanzania

Zedy

Project Coordinator

He likes soccer. He studied medical clinic. Is very punctual in what he promises, both in appointments as being on time.

volunteer in Tanzania

Emmanuel

Depute Director

Studied Occupation therapist in Moshi and Clinical Psychiatrist. He works as therapist in at the shelter. He is the father of 3 sons.

Our Volunteer House

When you volunteer in Tanzania you stay in our very own rented volunteer house. Your project is only a 40-minute walk or 10-minute bike ride from your accommodation. 

There is room for six volunteers, you might need to share the room with other volunteers. The bathrooms have a western toilet, sink, mirror and shower with hot water. Sheets and towels are included, they must stay inside, you must bring your own towel for outside activities.
All rooms have fans, windows and sockets (European plugs fit). There is an emergency telephone and WIFI.

Meals

You always have breakfast and dinner (Mon-Fri) in the volunteer house, you usually have lunch on the project.

Free Time

Whether you want to go to the top of Africa or learn more about coffee production, Moshi is an oasis of serenity and peacefulness. The quiet streets offer a warm welcome in a beautiful surrounding.

The market of Moshi is a colorful and lively place that definitely should  be visited. If the season is right, buy some avocados and mangos! Souvenirs in Moshi are much cheaper than in Arusha, so take this opportunity and go shopping for souvenirs. You will find all kinds of souvenirs from all over Tanzania, jewelry from Masai beads, stone key rings, wooden bracelets, curios wood carvings, leather sandals with beads, bags. 

If you walk around Moshi town, you will notice many colorful shops with African printed fabrics, which is used for Kanga. Again, like all products in Moshi, fabrics are also cheaper and if you want to take home some nice designs, this is the time to by local produced “Kanga”. If you are impatient, you can find many sewing workshops and ladies will adjust your clothing within a day.

Coffee plantations

The seasonal coffee auctions, where wholesale coffee is offered, packaged and sold to international buyers, is an event that you should not miss when you are in the city. In addition to the coffee auction, Moshi’s coffee roasting plant provides a wonderful smelling insight into the production of this famous beverage. Sugar plantations are also crucial for the economy of the region.
 
Walks around Moshi and a visitq to the coffee plantations, are activities for which most visitors come to Moshi.

volunteer in tanzania
Coffee plantations

Climb the Kilimanjaro

The main reason why visitors come to Moshi is for the Kilimanjaro, the mountain whose thick clouds and snow-covered top towers above the agricultural city. Climbing expeditions leave early in the morning from the city to the Kilimanjaro National Park.
 
This is of course for the more adventurous volunteers. But if you’re in Tanzania, why would miss this amazing opportunity?
 
If you are not able to do this or you do not have the right condition, then a day walk may be a nice alternative.
 
The Mandara day trip starts at the headquarters of the Kilimanjaro National Park. The trip takes about 4 to 6 hours to reach Mandara, depending on how fit you are. It is an easy walk that will reward you with beautiful views all the way to plains in Kenya when you reach the Maundi Crater.

Trip to the Marangu or Materuni waterfall

Take a fun daytrip to the Marangu waterfall.
 
The Materuni waterfalls are less than an hour’s walk from the nearby village. With a height of 150 m it is considered the highest waterfall in the Kilimanjaro region. If you want to swim, don’t forget to bring swimming trunks, because the lagoon is safe to swim in.

volunteer in tanzania
Waterfall

Lake Chala

Lake Chala is amazing. A real piece of Africa. Bordering Kenya, and about a two-hour drive from Moshi by car. It is a perfect choice for those who want to relax by walking around the crater lake, enjoying the tranquility of the place and if you go at the right time of the year, elephant herds can be seen in the distance.

volunteer in tanzania

Kikuletwa hot springs

Yes, Tanzania is full of surprises and Kikuletwa Springs is one of them! If you want to escape the crowds in Moshi, the hot springs of Kikuletwa are the best place to hide. One of the rare places that looks exactly the same as on the internet photos. The lagoon has warm water that is pleasant to swim in and small fish that nibble on your toes.

volunteer in tanzania

Beaches

Spend your time during the weekends or after you volunteer placement at one of the beautiful tropical beaches.

volunteer in tanzania

Safari

Take a safari trip at the Serengeti

volunteer in tanzania

Possible Costs

Volunteering abroad does cost money and it is not our intention that the community you are going to help has to pay for this. If there was enough money to bear these costs, we would rather spend them on a local employees who understand the local culture and daily customs.
If you want to learn more about our transparent system, take a look at our transparency page.

Accommodation & Meals Cost

These costs, which you pay on site, are related to your stay in Tanzania such as your accommodation and meals. By paying locally, you are also sure that your contribution will end in Tanzania and will not stay behind at various “stations”.  

  • 4 weeks: €510
  • 5 weeks: €625
  • 6 weeks: €740
  • 7 weeks: €855
  • 8 weeks: €970
  • 9 weeks: €1.085
  • 10 weeks: €1.200
  • 11 weeks: €1.315
  • 12 weeks: €1.430
For each additional week: + € 115
 

What is included?

  • Local costs and preparations for your stay;
  • Accommodation & breakfast (7/7) during your entire stay;
  • Lunch & dinner on the project during working days (Mon-Fri);
  • Pick-up at the airport in Arusha;
  • Transport to the airport of Arusha after your volunteer work;
  • Bicycle to get from your accomodation to the project.

Other Possible Costs

Probably there are other expenses that you have to keep in mind. Below a brief summary of the most common possible costs:

  • Drinks;
  • Lunch & dinners during weekends and public holidays;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Free time related costs;
  • Visa costs (between €50 & €250);
  • Souvenirs;
  • Extra snacks;
  • Other means of transport besides your bicycle (and feet).

Alliance Fee

any projects require a continuity of volunteers to create impact and we want to ensure sufficient inflow of volunteers to keep every project viable. Unfortunately volunteer recruitment comes with a costs such as marketing. The fundraising done by the organizations in our alliance are exclusively used for development projects in the countries mentioned on this website.

The alliance fee serves to bear the costs of the alliance’s platform. We ask every participant a one-time alliance fee of € 130. This is a one-time contribution which you pay after being accepted for your first volunteer placement. After payment of this contribution you can do unlimited voluntary work in any project in the future (if there is availability and you meet the set requirements for that project).

As a member, we always inform you as soon as new projects are added in our alliance.

What is your alliance fee used for?

  1. Despite of our good intentions, we are also obliged to pay taxes. After this the balance is used for: annual costs for the management of our platform such as the maintenance of the registration database, administration …. We try to minimize these costs, but we have to cover them. We also have a great looking website that needs to be maintained and kept up-to-date.
  2. Promotion costs money and we want to be visible as much as possible so we find enough volunteers for each project. Your contribution is also used for promotions on various media, printed materials etc. Besides this we also try to attend as many fairs & network events as possible.
  3. We are only volunteers and put a lot of effort in our projects but also in your preperation. In the past we had volunteers not showing up which is very disturbing to our team and local communities that we support. We also view this contribution as a form of guarantee that you will actually fulfill your commitment.

You can read more at our transparency page.

Preparation & Guidance

We will not let you leave without a thorough preparation. We have a detailed system, so you can sleep on both ears and leave with peace of mind. Once you have been accepted and everything has been put in order, you can count on the guidance of our experts.
 
As soon as you applied and you are accepted to volunteer we start with your preparation. You can already read a lot on this website, besides this we also prepare you through other channels. Once in the field you also can rely on our local team.

Project Page

Volunteering abroad will have an impact on you but also on the local community. We think it’s very important, that you as a volunteer are aware about what to expect.  So you can start prepared with your volunteering experience. When you are accepted as a volunteer and you confirmed from your side, you will receive the access codes for our secured volunteer page. At this page you can read all information which is important for your preparation, Such as information about your project, accommodation, How to apply for your visa, a packing list, a complete chapter about cultural differences and much more …

Personal Mentor

You will be assigned a mentor who you can contact for any help or needed advice. Our mentors are members of our alliance and have years of experience in the projects we support. This system ensures that you receive good guidance from VAA.

Your safety is very important to us. We only allow volunteers to travel to areas that are politically stable. If this is not the case, the project will not proceed. Every member of the alliance keeps a close eye on the security recommendations. Of course, we can also rely on the local employees of the projects. They live and work there themselves and know the area very well.

Tanzania is just below the equator and has a tropical climate. On the coast and on the island of Zanzibar it is always humid and warm. Temperatures fluctuate between 27 and 32 ° C. June to October is the coolest and driest period. In the southern and northern highlands, where the Kilimanjaro and our projects are located, the temperature can drop to 12 ° C. Tanzania generally has two rain seasons: the little rain season in November and December, and the main rain season in March to April.

Every project has at least one permanent employee. This employee organizes your project and your stay together with the participating organization of our alliance. During your stay you can always connect with them; they are available for advice and practical information, but you can also count on them in case of an emergency.

The easiest airport in the vicinity of our projects is the Kilimanjaro Airport in Arusha (Airport code: JRO). You will be picked up at this airport by a representative of our local team.

You will receive a detailed route description, once you are accepted as to volunteer inTanzania. Here you can read everything to reach Moshi and more
specifically our volunteer house. 

In the past we had problems with sharing our operations address therefore we deliberately not share this information in advance. The organizations within our alliance take their duties seriously, our projects are not tourist  attractions and we do not want uninvited guests to disturb our operations. Moreover, it is very disturbing for the local employees of our alliance but also for other volunteers if someone suddenly appears at the projects to take a look.

We are not doctors and we do not know your personal & medical background. That is why we advise everyone to make an appointment with your doctor or travel vaccination center before traveling to your destination. You can always take a look at the website of the WHO for the latest situation in Laos.
 
Every organization within our alliance has an emergency procedure and you also receive all emergency telephone numbers once accepted as a volunteer. You will find all this information on your personal project page, you will receive the code as soon as you are accepted as a volunteer and you completed your application.

If you want to do volunteer work abroad with Volunteer Abroad Alliance, you are responsible for your own visa application. You can rely on your mentor who will can give you advise for your application process.
 
For Tanzania you need an international passport that is still valid for six months after departure from Tanzania. You can always arrange your visa on arrival at the airport or you can arrange it in advance at the embassy (which we recommend). Visa costs are between € 50 & € 250.

There is no typical day or script to follow – every day will be different and full of surprises. That is the beauty, but also challenge, of international volunteering. We expect you to understand this and be flexible, open and proactive at all times.

The projects run Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday are usually free days. Depending on your project, you will work some combination of different hours during.

There are always new initiatives being launched and other volunteers looking for a helping hand. The projects are very dynamic and responsive to the community’s needs, and we encourage you to be flexible and willing to help wherever there is need. It is very likely that you will have the opportunity to work across multiple projects. Remember, the more you put into your experience, the more you will get out of it.

English is spoken in the team and with the people we cooperate with. Bear in mind that the population with whom you may come into contact outside of your work does not always speak English. Kiswahili is the language spoken locally.

All organizations active in the alliance take their work very seriously. From general preparations to details that you never imagined that they exist, but that are important to give you a safe, comfortable and meaningful experience. We invest a lot of time in preparing, following up and implementing our preparation materials, but also our projects on site. We hope that you, for your part, commit yourself 100% during your volunteer work and this is done in a respectful way for us, but even more so for the local community you are going to help.

  • Volunteers are not tourists. Volunteers cooperate and serve the local population while tourists want to be served. We expect you to adopt an open, flexible and proactive attitude. After all, these are the most fundamental characteristics of a good volunteer.
  • Volunteers are not employees. You will be shown the direction before and during your voluntary work, but you will not receive the same training as an employee receives. We expect you to ask questions, offer your help and engage in the execution of your project work.
  • Kindness and being positive are very good qualities. You will meet many people during your volunteer work. Good social qualities are the key to success for good interaction with others. The best volunteers are those who build a good relationship with the people they work with. Take every opportunity to build a relationship of trust, even if there is a language barrier.
  • You stay and work in a developing country where life is completely different from what you are used to. Do not expect to find the same efficiency, punctuality and structures that you are used to. Being open minded and adapting to new situations are the most fundamental qualities of a volunteer. Do not expect that you will get a written scenario. Every day will be different and you can come across different situations that you did not expect on your path.
  • You may have taken a vacation to do volunteer work. However, keep in mind that a “volunteer holiday” does not exist. Volunteers enjoy their work and enjoy themselves during their free time. However, volunteering abroad is not easy. It can be very challenging and some days seem like an exercise in managing frustrations. It is all part of the experience so patience and a positive attitude are good qualities for a volunteer.
  • You are not going to change the world. As long as you fulfill your duties in a responsible manner, you will be part of the team and will have a positive impact on the local community.
  • Be humble and open to learn. You may have overwhelming ideas, qualities, talents and knowledge to share. The local population also has a lot to offer.
  • You travel to a new country where the smallest parts of daily life differ from what you know. Try to understand this and do not judge it too quickly. The culture of the community you are staying in is no better or worse than in your hometown, it is just different. Turn off your blinkers, open your heart and you will feel comfortable even outside your own comfort zone.
  • During your volunteer work, and especially during the preparation, you will receive a lot of information about the projects, living facilities, daily life, etc. Circumstances can change unexpectedly. Local needs may cause you to perform tasks other than planned. You must understand that the duties of a volunteer are based on local needs and not on you personally. It is your responsibility to adjust, because you are going to give and not to take.

Daily behavior when you volunteer in Tanzania

  • Dress appropriately and in consideration of the local culture. Women especially, you may have to dress more conservatively than you are used to at home. 
  • Follow the local laws and remember, corruption and poor government services are the norm in Tanzania. 
  • Abide by the cultural norms and rules of your hosts. Look to them for social cues and if you have a question, ask. Do not be shy!   
  • While we will not babysit you, we expect you to follow the instructions and rules set forth by us and our local partners. We also expect you to be a good communicator who is friendly and respectful to us and our team. Whether something is going well or not, tell us.
Read more about our vision

Start Dates

In our alliance we always ask the volunteers to do volunteer work by week. At some projects it is already possible to volunteer for one week, but it is also be possible that a minimum placement of a couple of months is required for certain projects. You can read this at the projects chapter of the chosen destination.

When Can I Arrive In Tanzania

In Laos you choose which day you arrive.

What is the minimum period to volunteer in Tanzania?

You can volunteer in Tanzania starting from 4 weeks.