Get Started in Tanzania
Volunteer in the Iringa District of the highlands region.
Local time in Tanzania:
Children are the future of our world.
Help parents acquire essential services to prevent childhood stunting. Share knowledge, engage your skills, and offer encouragement through the Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) Tanzania demonstration program. Contribute to a program delivering on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and aiming to improve the lives of generations! See Covid-19 requirements.
Genuine development projects to help children thrive. Exceptional service-learning for families, groups and individuals.
Work one-on-one with students from kindergarten through high school on English language skills, primarily through reading, writing and recitation in classrooms, and during two-week English language camps in June, September and December. Introduction to English teaching curriculum and other teaching materials are available for volunteers when they arrive in Ipalamwa, Tanzania.
Help assemble, plant, nurture seedlings for and harvest household container gardens, distribute nutritious Rise Against Hunger meals to families, conduct food and nutrition workshops, and lessons on raising poultry, maintaining chicken coops and employing fuel-efficient stoves.
Tutor primary school students in math or English. Teach secondary students math, science, English or physical geography. Teach the teachers and administrators alternative discipline measures to better manage their classrooms. Offer psychosocial support to students of all ages.
Provide patient care, health screenings, and dental and eye exams at Global Volunteers’ modern Ipalamwa General Clinic (IGC). Counsel pregnant women, and help ensure thriving pregnancies and healthy deliveries. Teach basic health care using the text, “Where There is No Doctor.”
Help paint, repair, and maintain classrooms and community centers. Construct chicken coops, install household hand washing stations, build fuel-efficient stoves, or promote solar energy systems.
Conduct interactive workshops for pregnant women, mothers, fathers and grandparents on health, nutrition, early childhood development, education, psychology, or related topics in your field. Choose from 37 prepared outlines and presentations.
Accompany our caregiver staff on family home visits to reinforce workshop lessons and demonstrate effective child stimulation exercises, maternal self-care, proper hand washing with soap and water and other appropriate technologies.
Cooperatives throughout the Kilolo District need instruction in basic business skills from preparing incorporation documents to bookkeeping and production. Also, if you have knitting skills, you can teach how to knit school uniform sweaters to sell at locally affordable prices.
Most international flights to Tanzania arrive in Dar es Salaam (DAR). We suggest you plan to arrive in DAR the Friday before your service program begins, overnight at a local hotel and then depart DAR for Iringa (IRI) on the first Saturday of your service program. There are several hotels around the DAR airport, but we suggest the Hotel Blue Sapphire: https://hotelbluesapphire.co.tz\.
For your flight from DAR to IRI, the flight options are limited. Most volunteers utilize Auric Air Services: https://www.auricair.com/en. We suggest you book your domestic Tanzania air reservations as soon as you know your team is a ‘go.’
Plan your flight to arrive at the Iringa, Tanzania airport, around 8:30 AM on the first Saturday of your service program. You will return to Iringa airport at the conclusion of your service on Saturday. A Global Volunteers staff person will meet you at the Iringa airport for the two-hour drive to the villages.
You must confirm your flight itinerary with us at least two weeks before the service program arrival date to confirm your team airport transfer.
You’ll stay in a comfortable Global Volunteers-built and owned in the beautiful rural highlands at the top of the mountain and end of the road. Additional features:
Delicious meals are prepared by our trained staff cooks and include local cuisine and American favorites. Fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking water, coffee and tea are always available. Vegetarian diets can generally be accommodated.
Your lodging, food and transportation are provided always with a mind to protect your health and security. Your team leader is trained in CPR and first aid to handle most emergencies. Global Volunteers includes emergency medical evacuation insurance in your service program fee. Read more about health and safety here.
We strongly recommend you consult your own physician, public health clinic and/or travel clinic for detailed travel health information. For general recommendations, consult the following sources:
We also recommend health insurance that covers you while you are outside your home country, and trip cancellation insurance in the event you must cancel your participation on the service program. Your travel agent can refer you to travel insurance providers. Click here to read risks associated with international travel.
Accurately assess your functional mobility. Our work assignments and partner communities require varying levels of physical stamina and mobility. After you register, you will be asked about your physical capabilities relating to your mobility. Please answer the questions honestly.
Required Mobility for Tanzania: Mobile – Walk 1 mile, climb five flights of stairs, walk on uneven terrain, and get on and off buses and trains independently.
Global Volunteers Tanzania Team Leader Given Mlowe directs your daily work assignments and all local volunteer logistics. In cooperation with our community partners, Given facilitates your team’s orientation, assists you in being fully engaged in your assigned work project(s), and manages all project-related logistical issues. She was born in Iringa and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Studies from Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro.
She was first hired in 2021 as an RCP Caregiver, and worked directly with families to ensure their children’s health and development in the first 1,000 days of life. Given will introduce you to the community, help acclimate you to the local culture, invite you to community events, and engage you in the day-to-day life of the community.
Evenings and weekends are free time for Tanzania volunteers. This is when you can spend time with local families and enjoy community events, or simply “kick back” and savor the slower pace that is East Africa.
Many volunteers take a weekend Safari in Ruaha National Park and Game Reserve, East Africa’s largest park and game reserve, about 40 miles from Iringa. It is home to 10,000 elephants and over 500 species of birds, plus giraffes, lions, buffalo, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, baboons, zebras and antelope. Safari companies will pick you up in Ipalamwa on Friday afternoon and are scheduled to have you back before sunset on Sunday. Additional activities after the volunteer work day in Tanzania include exploring the local market, listening to music at community churches and cultural events, and playing board games with your teammates.
“When I applied, you didn’t tell me how much fun I was going to have!”
– Jim Colburn, Tanzania Volunteer
Families of various compositions serve with us in Tanzania nearly every month school is not in session: parents and teens, grandparents and grandchildren, aunts, uncles and nephews and nieces. The contrast of life in a Tanzanian village with your teen’s own lives comes up time and again as the greatest lesson for all. And, despite material poverty, village life is full and joy-filled. The following are just a few of the many parents’ reflections on why their family volunteering in Tanzania was so meaningful:
“I know why we brought the kids to Tanzania, although at first I was skeptical. When you put a face on poverty, it changes you forever. Our kids are teenagers, and this was the last chance to do it while they’re young, before college and their own families, a last push for social responsibility to the world, their community, their neighbors. They learned more than I could ever have imagined.”
Jamie Ford, volunteering with wife Leesha and their seven children
The need is so great – and your reward so vast – that volunteering as a family will be an experience you’ll remember forever. Read more about family volunteering here.
“My children came to feel as though they became “kin,” and still do after all this time. I can assure you that every team member feels the same. You’re in the best hands, as you’ll see from the responsiveness of Global Volunteers, and for every moment you’re on the ground with the team. Global Volunteers has created a unique, loyal, and lasting legacy in their projects, especially in Tanzania.”
Amy Kleissler, three-time Tanzania volunteer with her sons
Parents and guardians are expected to supervise their teenage volunteers, and collaborate with our staff and local partners to maximize the service experience for everyone. Teens are invited to offer their own perspectives in team meetings and fully participate in free-time activities.
Student, professional, faith-based, corporate, and community groups are warmly engaged by the open-hearted Tanzanian people. Global Volunteers Tanzania RCP Demonstration Program offers an extraordinary opportunity for students from virtually every discipline and individuals from every profession to be of service while learning from villagers how live day-by-day. Because of the wide variety of community service projects, every member of your group can apply their unique skills and interests in meaningful service to Tanzanian children and families. Learn about each other in a non-traditional way as an intact volunteer team, and know that your specific contributions to genuine community development projects advance the futures of Tanzanian children and families.
Educators and health care professionals of all specialties are needed to contribute their skills to helping deliver the 12 Essential Services to village families and children of all ages. Its in the village where a coordinated effort makes an enormous positive impact. We work with your group to develop a lasting relationship with students and families – and to enable you to continue to support them after you leave Tanzania. Health care professionals offer patient care at the new clinic, provide public health education, conduct interactive parent workshops, accompany our staff on home visits, assist with well-baby clinics and administer blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings, eye exams, malaria and dengue fever prevention, and de-worming programs. Students and teachers practice conversational English and tutor primary and secondary school students in math, geography, and science. Social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists and dietitians share their expertise during parent workshops, meal preparation classes, home visits, and in clinics and community centers. Masons, carpenters, plumbers, and painters – anyone who can work with their hands – are needed to help repair and maintain classrooms and community buildings. Everyone can help plant and maintain household and school gardens to improve nutrition. Best of all – comparing notes with your teammates as the red Tanzanian sun sets, you reflect on the contributions you’ve made and the remarkable culture you’re experiencing together.
“I’ve never met happier, more welcoming people. The children run up to us, hold our hands and walk wherever we’re going. People invite us for tea and generously share what little food they have.”
“I attempted to read a few paragraphs of gratitude in Swahili, and had a terribly hard time holding back tears. Every child in my class smiled, listened intently and responded with their own thanks, and came up for hugs. It was the most memorable event of the week.”
“Tanzania was amazing, and hands down the best trip I’ve been on!! I can’t wait to go back!”
“I was surprised by how appreciative and eager the students are to learn. Their respect for the teachers is something I’ve never before witnessed. I learned so much from them about their lives and the village. I have a great deal of respect for Tanzanians.”
“The experience allowed me to re-assess what’s truly important. These people may not have material wealth, but they have a cultural richness and a closeness that could never be bought or owned. I taught children who barely had clothes covering their bodies who were happy and laughing.”
“I have worked with the Tanzanians, sang and danced with them and together we have discovered that the world is the same and that life is not always easy and that we cannot give up and we can succeed and we can follow our dreams and aim for the stars because everything is possible if we focus, work and persevere.”
“The music at the church service left me speechless. Though words cannot do justice to all we felt, I heard murmured after the service, ‘resonant, inspirational, mesmerizing, tears- and chill-provoking’. It was a beautiful experience… I will be forever grateful.”