There are a number of charities that provide first class "volunteer Tanzania" opportunities. Set up to fight poverty and working mainly in rural Tanzania, they offer volunteers the chance to build and renovate schools, work on school farms, teach English and a lot more!
There is a strong reason to volunteer. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in Africa and the majority of people live on far less than $1 per day. Tanzania is also a safe and politically stable country, united by the common language of Swahili, and populated by welcoming people who are keen to develop themselves and their communities.
Typically, small development charities will work directly on the ground in rural communities, helping those communities meet the development challenges that the communities themselves have identified.
A popular area for support that many communities identify is education. Schools tend to be a hub in their communities, and a charity that builds and renovates community schools can have a big impact. Of course, education is a key requirement for any country to develop, and having a proper classroom for the students to learn attentively is essential.
Self-help is an important factor in a well run charity programme. Going back to our school building example, typically a community would have to contribute to the work in a pre-agreed manner, e.g. dig foundations or make bricks. The charity then provides the cement, steel, wood etc and the finance to put local labour to work thus ensuring the money gets to where it is most needed. This where participants in a Volunteer Tanzania programme often first get to work!
But the construction of schools and classrooms is only a part of a communities needs. Many charities also offer a number of other opportunities for volunteers to get involved.
Some typical activities include:
- English language courses for the teachers
- HIV / AIDS awareness programmes (8% of pop. HIV positive);
- Hygiene and wellbeing courses
- Developing local income generation schemes...
- Developing school farms and school feeding programmes...
For those interested in "Volunteer Tanzania!" programmes, here are a few questions you should ask that will help you find volunteering opportunities that are well thought out and designed to benefit the communities as well as the volunteer.
1. Has the charity undertaken any baseline surveys to measure the impact of their work?
2. Does the charity provide its volunteers with a specific project to complete in the time they are in Tanzania?
3. Does the charity properly brief and supervise its volunteers?
4. Do previous volunteers have anything positive to say about their experiences?
If you can answer these questions to your satisfaction and find a good charity to volunteer with, you'll have the joy of seeing how your hard earned contribution is spent to the betterment of a community.
With the right volunteer Tanzania programme, you'll find yourself working alongside individuals as part of a team, as well as interacting with children and the wider community. You'll be helping them practice their English, playing football and netball and exposing them to the wider world. In return they will teach you Swahili, drumming and dancing and provide you with lifelong and positive lessons that you will never forget.
We are Livingstone Tanzania Trust! If you want to "Volunteer Tanzania!" why not sign up for our FREE newsletter? Watch our video at http://www.livingstonetanzaniatrust.com/index.php?page=volunteeringintanzania to see how you can make a difference!