If a trip to Africa is on your must-visit list, you probably know Tanzania is one of the most popular and safe countries you can visit. But there’s also lots of opportunity to give back as a volunteer to the wonderful people you’ll meet along the way.
Just over twice the size of California, Tanzania is an incredible country that should be on any traveler’s must-see list. This East African nation is home to more than four million different types of animals, has over 120 different languages spoken countrywide, and is home to Africa’s tallest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro. And while 90% of Tanzanians live in rural areas, in recent years many have migrated to larger towns and cities.
So why should you volunteer in Tanzania? Of the country’s 48.2 million citizens, about 36% live below the poverty line and are more vulnerable to many types of diseases and illnesses without access to proper medical treatment. In addition to poverty, much of Tanzanian society adheres to strict gender roles, despite legal advances – as a result, a large number of women are physically and sexually abused, and have a great deal of trouble finding legal aid or ways to improve their own lives, or the lives of their families.
Many of Tanzania’s hospitals, children’s homes, schools, and wildlife sanctuaries benefit from volunteers – both skilled and unskilled – to keep them running and helping those in need. As a volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new community and learn from its leaders, while working alongside them to build better lives for their citizens, protect their wildlife, and conserve their environment. You can help women who don’t have a voice find the tools they need to turn their lives around. You’ll work alongside teachers to give a quality education to children of all ages. And you can provide care for domestic animals, or help conserve endangered wild animals to ensure their species survival. All of this and so much more can be done while you experience Tanzania’s wonderful culture, meet wonderful new people, and learn new skills that you can bring home and use long after your travels.
9 Volunteer Programs in Tanzania where you can Make a Difference
Love Volunteers invites you to participate in volunteer and intern abroad programs in more than 30 countries worldwide, with project focuses such as teaching, childcare, medical care, and much more. A fast-growing organization, more than 20,000 volunteers have traveled with Love Volunteers so far, with another 4,000 expected to embark on trips just this year. Right now, Love Volunteers offers several opportunities for you to visit Tanzania and volunteer in and around Arusha – programs start from one week at just $175, depending on the project you sign up for.
Animal Welfare Volunteering
One of the many volunteer programs you can sign up for with Love Volunteers in Tanzania is their animal welfare project, where you’ll have the chance to work on several different projects that all share the same goal: to stop animal abuse and neglect. Tanzania faces widespread poverty, which often leads to abuse and neglect of many companion animals – and as these animals begin breeding uncontrollably, this leads to a lack of food and general care, with many animals suffering from diseases such as rabies. As a volunteer, you’ll care for and play with dogs and cats, design animal welfare education programs, write marketing materials, assist with fundraising campaigns, and educate children at local schools about animal welfare. And not only will you be able to work with domestic animals, but you’ll have the incredible opportunity to see wild animals, including wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, buffalo, elephants, and lions.
Women’s Empowerment Program
Another opportunity you may want to check out through Love Volunteers invites you to support Tanzanian women who have been abused or who are victims of human trafficking – a major issue in the country, where a historically patriarchal society has actively discouraged women from making decisions without their husband’s consent, nearly half of women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical abuse, and 10% have reported sexual abuse. Through this program, you’ll work with others to provide a safe and supportive space for women and children subjected to violence, while providing them with vocational training and education. Additionally, many of the women you’ll work with may suffer from HIV/AIDS, and are not provided access to necessary health services and medication – your support will help them immensely, even through providing basic child care services if they need it.
If you would like more information about these projects and the many other volunteer opportunities in Tanzania through Love Volunteers, please click here.
What Volunteers Say: Review from Michael
Love Volunteers is a great organization. They were seamless with all of the pre-event discussions and preparations. The support was top notch. Responses to emails and calls were speedy. The NGO I worked with, suggested by Love Volunteers, was very helpful and a safe, reliable and honest organization. I highly recommend Love Volunteers and will use them in the future for my other adventures. Also, how can you go wrong with a name like that?
Projects Abroad is one of the largest and longest-established volunteer organizations on this list, and every year sends more than 10,000 travelers overseas on meaningful volunteer programs, under-18s trips, and internships. The organization offers a wide range of projects, from supporting and growing small businesses to running medical outreaches in rural communities in Tanzania. Women in east Africa face many challenges due to gender inequality, so many programs in Tanzania focus on working with and supporting local women.
Support Budding Entrepreneurs
On Projects Abroad’s microfinance project, you’ll help businesswomen set up sustainable small businesses. You’ll guide them in creating a business plan and give workshops on valuable skills like budgeting. Once you’ve helped with selecting entrepreneurs and setting up business plans, you’ll manage the interest-free loans Projects Abroad provides. These loans help get businesses up and running, giving women a sustainable income. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to community development while enhancing your business skills. You’ll come away with valuable practical experience to add to your resume.
Promote Human Rights
Are you looking to boost your resume before entering into the legal or human rights fields? Projects Abroad’s Human Rights internship in Tanzania offers the perfect balance of practical human rights experience, while actively making a difference. On this program, you’ll work closely with human rights lawyers performing daily tasks that will focus heavily on women’s empowerment. This project is perfect for any aspiring women’s rights activists. These are some of the tasks you’ll do:
- Give presentations and workshops to raise awareness of women’s rights
- Assist professional human rights lawyers with writing and updating pleas
- Research cases and learn more about the legal system in Tanzania
- Conduct interviews and put together reports on common human rights issues people face
For more information about these two projects and the many other ways you can volunteer with Projects Abroad, click here.
What volunteers say: Review from Kiara
“In those three months, I was continually pushed outside of my comfort zone, which not only challenged me, but enabled me to learn so much about myself, from what I truly loved doing, to knowing that I am capable of doing more than I thought.”
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
For nearly 10 years, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) has provided affordable volunteer placements for travelers worldwide. So far, more than 63,000 volunteers have traveled to dozens of countries with IVHQ on projects ranging from teaching, to sports coaching, to conservation, and much more. In Tanzania, IVHQ offers several different projects, including teaching, child care, HIV/AIDS support, medical care, and animal welfare – and your program fee starts from just $270 for your first week abroad.
Animal Welfare Project
One of IVHQ’s many volunteer programs in Tanzania is their animal welfare project, which offers three different placement options depending on your background and interests, including:
- Studying animal diseases, taking samples, and analyzing animal welfare and living conditions for both domestic and wild animals such as dogs, sheep, and cows
- Working alongside a veterinarian to treat animals in a local clinic, or conducting home visits to attend to injured livestock
- Treating animals in heat or artificially inseminating farm animals, such as goats and cows
To sign up, you must have a background in veterinary care, currently be studying towards a degree involving animals, or have experience working with animals in a professional setting.
Child Care Project
Another option for volunteers who’d like to travel to Tanzania with IVHQ is their child care project, where you can support children orphaned or abandoned by parents who can no longer care for them due to HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. These children usually are taken in by neighbors or extended family members, but the added strain to care for them sometimes leads caregivers to send them to orphanages for a few hours during the day for their education, meals, and interactions with other children. As a volunteer, you will be helping to teach basic math and English as well as assisting in the daily chores and activities that keep the home running. A few tasks you might take on include cooking, cleaning, farm work, caring for children and babies, and assisting with feeding programs.
Learn more about volunteering in Tanzania with IVHQ at: www.volunteerhq.org
What Volunteers Say: Review from Abigail
The best program to have done my first IVHQ experience with! The partner organization, TVE, was very organized and employs some of the nicest staff members and volunteers I’ve had the good fortune to work with. Accommodations were well managed and they were very helpful in choosing and helping you reach the volunteer placement. Tanzania itself was so wildly different from anything I’ve experienced before, but what better way to learn and grow?! I loved every moment and am already planning my return trip. Be warned, if ever you travel to Tanzania, it will steal your heart and have you coming back as often as you can.
Naturally Africa Volunteers
Naturally Africa Volunteers is an amazing organization that addresses poverty throughout Africa by providing quality education, treating sickness and promoting healthy activities, and advancing sustainable development. This organization offers many different volunteer projects for travelers who want to make a difference, including teaching, medical support and healthcare, sports coaching, community outreach, and animal conservation. In Tanzania, Naturally Africa Volunteers offers one program you can sign up for right now, which invites you to support street children through sports. You can stay anywhere from four to 12 weeks, starting at $705 for your first month onsite.
Street Kids Sports Volunteer Project
Through this placement in Mwanza, Tanzania, you will coach sports and be a mentor at a youth center, which provides support to children who are vulnerable or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The long-term goal for this program is to identify and nurture the talent of these children and help them to develop their skills further, which could lead to a scholarship or even playing their sport – likely football – professionally. The center’s short-term goals are just important, however: as Mwanza has a large number of orphaned or runaway children living on the street, the program provides basic support, care, and education to boys and girls to keep them motivated and provide them with a refuge from getting involved with drugs, alcohol, underage sex, and crime. Your volunteer activities will vary from day to day, but no matter what, you’ll provide the kids with a healthy and positive outlet for their energy while helping them prepare for a successful future.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering in Tanzania with Naturally Africa Volunteers, please click here.
What Volunteers Say: Review from Lindsay
Third time in Africa, and this was yet again, LIFE CHANGING. First time with NAV and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
A Broader View
A Broader View is another excellent organization where you can make a difference by volunteering in Tanzania. This US-based nonprofit organization currently hosts more than 240 volunteer programs in 25 different countries. In Tanzania, you can choose from many different projects such as child care, sports coaching, women’s development, and medical care in Arusha and Moshi. Your Tanzania placement with A Broader View starts from one week at $850, and you’re invited to stay up to eight weeks to learn the most from your experience in Tanzania.
Maternity and Midwifery in Moshi
One of the many volunteer options you can choose from in Tanzania with A Broader View is their maternity and midwifery placement in Moshi. This excellent opportunity is open to volunteers currently enrolled in a medical or nursing program, or who have professional credentials. The hospital you will be working in treats 60 to 100 patients each day – including more than 30 children – and sees 75 to 80 births each month. As a volunteer, you will be able to assist with the antenatal clinic, labor ward and delivery, family planning, vaccinations, out patient department, and the TB clinic. You’ll also face many different diseases and illnesses each day, including malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, hypertension, diabetes, diarrhea and vomiting, and skin diseases. To aid in the treatment of these illnesses, you’ll give vaccinations, take blood samples, assist in deliveries, and provide health check-ups. Throughout your stay in Tanzania, you’ll work Monday through Friday for six hours each day, with housing provided in a local hostel with fellow volunteers.
HIV Awareness and Care in Arusha
Another volunteer option you may want to check out in Tanzania with A Broader View gives you the chance to provide support in a home for children afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Currently, there are hundreds of individuals in and around the community where you’ll work living with this disease, so as a volunteer, your work is vital for prevention and support. This is another amazing opportunity for undergraduates, pre-medical, and pre-nursing students – as a volunteer, you will help with:
- Distributing food and medicine
- Accompanying children to the clinic for health checks
- Assisting with ongoing work at the children’s home
- Performing outreach projects and home visits
Before you travel, it would be incredibly helpful to learn a few Swahili words and phrases, which will help you to better communicate with those you’ll work with. For the two to eight weeks you will be volunteering, you can expect to work Monday through Friday, about eight hours each day.
To learn more about volunteering in Tanzania with A Broader View, check out this page.
What Volunteers Say: Review from Tahlia
Volunteering abroad had always been a dream of mine and it felt like the perfect time to do so. I found ABV and it caught my attention and offered my ideal location, an orphanage in Tanzania. After arriving I was a little lonely and scared but the first day that I entered a classroom at the Center I knew I was in the right place. There are no words to describe how amazing the children there were, their love for each other and for life was so inspiring especially considering how much they have been through. I was able to help teachers correct work and assist in teaching the children math and English as well as play with the kids at their break times. I found my cheeks hurting everyday from smiling so much while I was at the center. The children honestly changed my life, they opened my eyes to what real happiness and appreciation is. There is no doubt in my mind I will be volunteering again in Africa very soon and hopefully pursuing a career in teaching or social work now.
If you want to make a difference abroad while furthering your educational or career prospects, check out Global Nomadic. With internships and volunteer opportunities in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific, Global Nomadic is a great way to learn more about your career path while gaining practical experience. Right now, Global Nomadic offers two opportunities in Tanzania: a human rights and legal aid internship, and a medical internship.
Human Rights and Legal Aid Internship
From one month to one year, you’re invited to Tanzania to provide legal support and assistance to individuals who are underserved or who have special needs, ensuring that they’re aware of their rights and that these rights are properly protected. On top of this, you can provide psychosocial support to women’s groups, widows, vulnerable children, and orphans and their foster parents. In partnership with a local NGO, you can help some of the country’s most vulnerable people, such as women who have been left destitute after losing their husbands or other male family members. As part of this internship, you’ll help run workshops and can choose from many different project focus areas, including accounting, advocacy, journalism, IT, fundraising, research, and more. The legal services you may be involved in include counseling, providing legal advice, and assisting with reconciliation sessions. During your stay, you’ll work in an office with other interns and local paralegals five days each week. To sign up, you must be studying law or have relevant qualifications, and have good English speaking skills. This internship starts from $1,050 for your first month and includes all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support, and project activities.
If you’re a medical student or have relevant qualifications, you may be interested in Global Nomadic’s medical internship in Arusha, Tanzania, where you can gain hands-on experience in a variety of fields for up to six months. Areas you may be able to focus on include:
- Maternal and child health care
- Gynecological services
- Pediatric consultations
- Ophthalmological services and outreach clinics
- Dental services
- In- and out-patient services
- Radiological services
- Provision of counselling to HIV/AIDS patients
- Diabetic clinic assistance
As an intern, you’ll work alongside local staff and conduct your own treatments, depending on your skills and previous experience. You will be able to help with surgeries (observing or assisting), taking blood pressure, administering vaccinations and treatments, and taking on a wide range of other tasks that keep your patients cared for and the hospital running.
If either of these internships in Tanzania sounds like the right fit for you, learn more and sign up here.
Global Leadership Adventures
Since 2004, Global Leadership Adventures has provided teen and high school travel programs combining community service with hands-on learning and adventure. With an emphasis on their students’ safety, this organization sends thousands of travelers to 23 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America each year. As a leader in youth development, Global Leadership Adventures has a database of nearly 2,000 references willing to vouch for the impact of their programs – and in fact, GLA’s co-founder was recognized by President Obama for making a positive impact in Africa.
Tanzania: Heart and Soul of Africa
Global Leadership Adventures is currently offering a two- to three-week travel opportunity to Tanzania, where you’ll have an amazing experience volunteering while fully immersing yourself in the country’s culture. You will volunteer at a village primary school, learn basic Swahili phrases, see all kinds of animals on an authentic African safari, hike to a waterfall near Mount Kilimanjaro, spend a day with the Maasai to learn their culture, as well as learn African dance, percussion, bead making, and even how to throw a spear. For your community service component, you’ll be assisting local village schools by refurbishing classrooms, building a playground, and helping out with anything else the school may need while you’re there. If you sign up for the two-week program, you’ll complete a total of 30 service hours, while on the three-week program, you’ll take on 45 community service hours – an excellent boost for your college applications!
For more information on this amazing opportunity, as well as the many other experiences Global Leadership Adventures offers, please click here.
What Volunteers Say: Review from Jennah
Jambo (hello) everyone! I’m Jennah, a junior in high school, and last summer I went on the most amazing trip with Global Leadership Adventures. I traveled to Tanzania and for three weeks, I spent my time teaching students English, rebuilding their classrooms, and getting close with all of the people we encountered. GLA provided so many great opportunities to dive deep into their culture and I loved every single activity that they had planned out for us! Because i went on the three week program, we were able to go to a Masai village one weekend, a safari the other, and climb the base of Mount Kilimanjaro! It was an absolutely mind blowing experience. I think about my time in Tanzania every single day- not a day goes by that i don’t miss it. I recommend this program so so so much- you will never regret a trip with GLA.
For more than 25 years, Frontier has combined community development, capacity building, ecosystem protection, economic growth, and the development of civil society through partnerships between local communities, researchers, and volunteers of all ages. From their first program in Tanzania – a marine park you can still volunteer with today – Frontier has expanded to provide more than 400 projects in 72 different countries. Whether you’d like to pursue an internship abroad, volunteer placement, gap year, or teach abroad / TEFL program, Frontier is a wonderful way to travel the world and make a positive impact. Right now, Frontier offers more than 20 different volunteer opportunities in Tanzania, and depending on which program you sign up for, your first week abroad starts from $945.
Whale Sharks and Turtles Project
Many of Frontier’s volunteer opportunities in Tanzania are marine based, including this whale sharks and turtles project, where you’ll explore the Indian Ocean and collect valuable research data to conserve endangered or threatened marine life. A few tasks you’ll take on include:
- Helping to monitor and conserve coastal seashore environments and Indian Ocean marine wildlife
- Playing an active role in the conservation of sea turtles in the Indian Ocean
- Helping to protect the whale shark and promote the welfare of these creatures
During your travels in Tanzania, you’ll have the opportunity to earn additional PADI diving qualifications, and swim and snorkel from your beach camp. Your volunteer work will help preserve damaged coral reefs that are at risk of being lost forever due to climate change and rising sea temperatures. You’ll also help to educate and build awareness of climate change, and help with monitoring whale shark and sea turtle activity. All of this will lead to developing a strategy for the future coastal zone management in Tanzania.
NGO Media and Journalism Internship
If you’re interested in pursuing journalism as a career, check out Frontier’s NGO media and journalism internship in Tanzania, where you’ll work as a field journalist for your project site, reporting on and documenting the work and social activities of volunteers at your location. You’ll gain valuable experience reporting and working in content production in a field of your choice, including article production, photography, videography, and blogging or vlogging. To sign up, you must be able to stay two months or longer, have some relevant journalism or media experience and qualifications, and be able to provide your own laptop and camera.
If you would like more information about either of these opportunities in Tanzania, or the other wonderful volunteer programs and internships around the world that Frontier has to offer, please visit this page.
Ready to Travel?
Tanzania is a beautiful country with many opportunities for any volunteer who wants to make a difference and learn about the country’s rich culture and history. Whether you want to save the animals, work with children, or capture every moment of your travel as a journalist, Tanzania has it all.
If you are ready for a new adventure, please click here to create an account and start planning your trip on Volunteer Forever!
Looking for more African adventures? Check out these articles:
Volunteer Programs and Projects in Ghana
Volunteer Programs and Projects in South Africa
2016 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs, Organizations, and Projects
Jordyn Hotchkiss · Guest Writer
Jordyn Hotchkiss is a Guest Volunteer Travel Writer for Volunteer Forever.