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Volunteer Care Work with Children Overseas in Tanzania

Playing with the childrenVoluntary Care work in Tanzania is a rewarding way to help improve conditions and the level of education for local children. You can join a volunteer care project during a gap year, career break, or during holiday time. Volunteers with qualifications and experience are welcome but you do not need to have either to volunteer. Energy, passion and a commitment to the children that we work with should see you through.

Tanzania in East Africa is a country of ancient tribal traditions and rich natural resources. Tanzania is no longer one of the poorest five countries in the world, a position it occupied in the mid 1980s, however, due to the increase of HIV/AIDS in the country, and a life expectancy which remains low, many children in Tanzania still need extra help. There are many thousands of children in Tanzania, over one quarter of females and one in five males ages 13 to 24 have lost one or both parents before they reach 18. In many of the care centres staff struggle with limited resources to feed, clothe and educate the children in their care. Staff often don't have the time to provide the stimulation and attention that these children need.

We have a variety of volunteer options for you in Tanzania, working in care centres, care or special needs homes and kindergartens with children aged from 0 to about 14 years old. Our Care placements are located in and around the town of Arusha in northern Tanzania and in the small town Moshi.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Tanzania Care Management Plan.

Tanzanian hosts

We have some placements in smaller care homes and day care centres that look after children from single parent families or the children of street beggars. Some volunteers in Moshi also work in kindergartens, where the local staff appreciate the extra help from volunteers organising fun and educational activities.

Volunteers may also work at a special needs placement in Arusha or Moshi. Disabilities include autism, downs syndrome, deaf or blind children and other varied physical and mental disabilities. Volunteers play a key role when it comes to improving the quality of life for these children and young adults.

The Projects Abroad team in Tanzania organise regular workshops for Care volunteers in both Moshi and Arusha. The content of the workshops varies and can focus on cultural differences in placements, learning key vocabulary in Swahili, reflection and feedback sessions between volunteers or practical ideas for care activities. Some workshops are held at the placement itself so that you can learn from the local supervisors and share ideas. 

Volunteering Abroad on a Care Project in Tanzania

Whichever volunteer Care project you join in Tanzania, the children will keep you busy and demand your full attention. Some placements are more challenging; there may sometimes be children in your care who have health problems or who need special attention due to disabilities.

In many of the care centres they have limited toys for the children and so the local staff carry out basic lessons with children as young as three in order to keep them occupied and stimulated. Education is very important for the younger generation in Tanzania. Volunteers work alongside local teachers developing resources and classroom activities to make the lessons more interesting. These lessons help improve the children’s level of English as well as basic numeracy. We encourage volunteers to get involved with these lessons and carry out basic educational activities with the children, including arts and crafts, colouring, and simple maths games.

It is in your role as a volunteer - spending quality one-to-one time with a child, playing educational games with a group of children, helping them with their day-to-day chores and monitoring their progress - that Projects Abroad volunteers are so valuable.

Due to the nature of the Care placements we work with, we recommend that volunteers come for at least four weeks. However, we also offer two week Care projects in Tanzania. If you decide on a two week placement please be aware that you will be placed in a kindergarten or a special needs school; you will not be able to work in a care centre. 

Whether you are feeding and bathing babies and toddlers, helping older children with school homework or playing a game with the younger ones, you will help provide emotional support, educational opportunities and improve the quality of life for the children in Tanzania. Please let us know about any extra interests or skills that you have and inform us if you have a preferred type of Care placement.

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