Volunteer - Tanzania - The Experience of a Lifetime


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.








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New Personal Income Tax Rates Tanzania

Tanzania Revenue Authority released the New Personal Income Tax Rates for Individuals applicable effective 1st of July, 2010. The new rates as TRA claims will reduce the lowest tax rate for resident individuals from 15% to 14 %.

The new rates are as follow:-

Dar es Salaam to host 20th World Economic Forum on Africa

Dar es Salaam is all set to host the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa from 5th to 7th of May, 2010. A record number of participants from 85 countries will be participating in this event. The event will be held at the famous Milimani City Conference Centre.

This is a huge opportunity for Tanzania to showcase their immense resources and lure foreign investors to this country. 

The event will be co-chaired by: 

Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HCL Infosystems, India
Kuseni Douglas Dlamini, Chief Executive Officer, Old Mutual, South Africa
Pat Davies, Chief Executive, Sasol, South Africa
Joergen Ole Haslestad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International ASA, Norway
Anna Tibaijuka, Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Nairobi

Subtitled, Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy, the agenda for the meet will discuss key issues like; Building Effective Institutions and Governance Structures, Fostering Sustainable Growth and Development, Managing Risk as Opportunity, Fostering and Empowerment Mindset.

For more information on the event please visit World Economic Forum Website at http://www.weforum.org


Television and Radio Stations in Tanzania

The electronic media scenario in Tanzania is at a very infant stage in comparison to the world scenario. There are various factors to it. Competencies, skilled people, freedom of press, lack of training institutions are some of them. However, there are quite a number of television & radio stations in Tanzania.

Notable of them in TV stations are; Star TV, ITV, TBC 1 the State television, Channel 10 who have a National presence. TBC is considered to have the most coverage in the country, followed closely by Star TV. ITV, Channel 10 are considered to have a lower coverage. With the introduction of various DTH (Direct to Home) services like DSTV the scenario is fast changing in the urban areas.

Unlike in other countries where individual agencies are there to measure effectiveness of TV & Radio stations for advertisers, Tanzania falls way behind. Synovate, the erstwhile Steadman, comes up with TAMPS (Tanzania All Media ------- Survey) every year. The report however does not cover all aspect of a Media survey. It's more of a snapshot of the overall scenario of TV, Radio, Outdoor & Print media. GRPs & TRPs are not available for TV. Hence, media planners rely heavily on the TAMPS for their media buying.

In Radio stations, there are quite a number of them. Notable are RFA (Radio Free Africa), Radio One, Clouds FM, EA Radio, Times FM, Kiss FM, TBC Taifa, TBC FM, Magic FM, Uhuru FM, Triple A, Sauti ya Tanzania Zanzibar and numerous community radio stations. The big players in the national scenario are RFA (Radio Free Africa), TBC Taifa, TBC FM, Kiss FM, Radio One.

House Rent in Dar es Salaam

Since I wrote last about Cost of Living in Dar es Salaam, things have changed. House rents have shot up in Dar. A fully furnished 2 BHK apartment will cost you about $1800 to $3000 in and around the city. Rents are however lower in the semi urban areas, but be prepared to spend most of your time inside your car in traffic jams. Another issue would be safety. Apartments are that way much safer. But, there are no major safety issues in Dar. There are several high rises coming up in the City Centre, but to surprise, rents are still not competetive.

If budget is not a constraint for you,, Oyster Bay, Msasani Peninsula area should be a good choice. Most Foreign Embassies are located in this area. Budget $3000 to $6000 approx.

The other way is to take an old house and get it renovated yourself. But be sure to check out the overall condition of the house before you sign a contract. In most cases contracts are signed for a year or more and contract amounts are advance rent for a year.

The best way to get a house is to contact a real estate agent or an freelance agent. Generally they will charge you for their service to show you the apartments or houses. The charges can vary from $5 to $30 for a visit. Once you sign a contract through the agent, you will pay a further commission of one month's rent to the agent.

Here are some online resources which might be of help to find a house in Dar es Salaam