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Volunteer in Tanzania: Participating in an Orphanage Project with IVHQ in Tanzania

International Volunteer HQ

Street Address:
Apartment 17 Quarterdeck 4 Buller Street, New Plymouth, New
New Plymouth
New Zealand

Participating in an Orphanage Project with IVHQ in Tanzania

Dates of Program
Flexible Dates
Both (group and independent)
Age Restrictions
18 Years+
Project Review

Sub-Saharan African countries are suffering from huge number of orphans left behind after their parents die from illnesses such as HIV/AIDS resulting in a larger number of orphanages in countries such as Tanzania. Contributing to this disproportionate number of orphanages is the fact that in some cases the parents are simply unable to provide for the children or they have been abandoned, increasing the number of orphans in Tanzania.  Volunteers need to understand, however, that Tanzanian orphanages are not organized the way most Westerners expect.  Because of the family-oriented culture, orphans tend to be absorbed into extended families or are even sometimes taken in by neighbors.  These added children put a huge strain on the families who take them in and so the orphans are sent to ‘orphanages’ for certain hours of the day to receive education, interaction and food.  Western volunteers must understand that the children usually do not live at the orphanage and are only there for a few hours in the day and so, if placed in an orphanage, one of your core roles will most likely be teaching.  Along with teaching, volunteers who work in an orphanage help with general work and daily chores and will generally work from 8:00 am until 3:30 pm. Your participation in an orphanage project is not only appreciated by the children but also by the orphanage administration. This work ranges from cooking and cleaning to farm work, assisting with feeding programs, caring for children and babies and teaching.Located at Kwa Ngulelo village near Arusha this orphanage is home to sixty children ranging in age from 4 to 14.During the school period there is a nursery school program in the orphanage for the lower aged children in the orphanage and local village. Attending this school is approximately 40 children in total, spread over two classrooms. Volunteers in this orphanage help teachers to do their lessons, drawings, sports, games and sometimes assist with the cleaning of the dormitories and clothes. In addition to this they also help with the cooking of meals for the children. NB This is only an example placement which is one of many offered by IVHQ in Tanzania and not necessarily the one you will be working at.

Major Responsibilities

Volunteers in this orphanage help teachers to do their lessons, drawings, sports, games and sometimes assist with the cleaning of the dormitories and clothes. In addition to this they also help with the cooking of meals for the children.

Cost/Program Fee
USD 250(1 Week) and USD 2420(24 Weeks)
What program fee Includes

Program Fee Includes:

  • Airport pick up
  • Orientation
  • Program supervision
  • Accommodation and meals during volunteer placement period
  • In-country 24/7 support
  • In-country administration costs
Skills/ Qualifications

No specific skills or qualification are required, except the volunteer needs to be friendly, open, flexible and should have good communication skills.

Arrangements for Room/Food

Accommodation and Meals: Considering the fact that hotels and guesthouses can be expensive for volunteers especially those wanting to stay for longer periods, we work on a program where we place our volunteers in a home stay where they live with a local family or a volunteer house with other volunteers (please note that spaces in the volunteer house are very limited and can only accommodate 18 to 26 people).  The volunteer houses (we have two of them in Arusha) are large, Western-style house with 6 bedrooms (all shared accommodations with bunk beds).  They have 2 bathrooms with Western-style toilets and occasional hot water for showers.  The house also includes one double bedroom, and this room is generally reserved for married couples.  The house is safe and secure, with a security guard and a large gate. In the volunteer house, there is a cook who cooks the meals for the volunteers. While we ask for an accommodation preference prior to arrival, it is very important for volunteers to realize that spaces in the house are limited and cannot be guaranteed at all.For the home stays, we give that family money from your fee for support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a family; that way you will learn the Tanzanian way of life, meet local people, eat local food and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is basic but all the home stays have electricity and running water and accommodate volunteers in SAFE and SECURE homes with at least two other volunteers -  never alone.  All home stays have been inspected thoroughly by local staff and chosen because of their safety and security.  Do not worry about staying in a home stay—we would not place you somewhere that is unsafe.  Most volunteers here love their home stays and feel that they get a more authentic Tanzanian experience by staying there.  Sometimes the power and water go out due to some technical problems, but this is for both the volunteer house and the home stays.  In this event, we always make sure that we provide bucket water for bath and toiletries. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers. While bedding is provided it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag and towels for any trips away. Home stays are located in the town of Arusha and in the villages and surrounding country side of Arusha. Some home stays may be a 20-30 minute drive (by dalladalla) from the city centre.  Regardless of the tribe or culture your host family is from, they will be sure to give you a good Tanzanian treat and meals will be relatively varied.  Bottled water is readily available in Tanzania and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 litres per day).  Breakfasts generally consist of Chai (tea), toast, fruit and mandazzi (deep fried dough).  A typical lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice, sandwiches and fruit while dinner usually sees traditional food such as ugali and chapatti accompany the meat and vegetables.  Breakfast is taken in the morning, then, lunch, which is served at about 1 pm (or you can take a packed lunch if you wish to eat at your project) and then dinner/supper served at 6 or 7pm.  If you have special eating needs, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you.  However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home.  We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.

Any Missing Important Information

Please note: All programs attract a Registration Fee of $220 USD on top of the Program Fee.

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