Arts cooperative and youth club

Tanzania (T7) | View map
£199 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months
1 month

Volunteer as part of an inspiring arts cooperative project for the youths of Tanzania

  • Volunteer your artistic skills and energy in a creative community project in Africa
  • Create recreational activities for children and young adults in the youth club
  • Help create a small social enterprise through volunteering overseas
  • Ideally positioned to go on safari and see the wilds of Africa
  • Arts cooperative and youth club project 1
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Project summary

This is an innovative project, founded by talented local youths who took it upon themselves to form a creative art club. It provides a safe and healthy environment where young people can develop the skills necessary for a sustainable future. The aim is to empower over 100 boys and girls to reach their full potential and become productive, self-sustaining and responsible members of the community.

In the morning 25-30 young people aged 16-23 receive vocational training through three business cooperatives, focused on art, tailoring and jewellery. In addition to the practical skills training they receive IT and business lessons. They sign a contract documenting their commitment, receive a small stipend and the remaining income generated is invested by the cooperative in their sustainability goals. The coops run as small businesses and manage everything from sourcing materials, design, production and sales.

In the afternoon there is a wider programme of activities including sports, music, art, designed to be more recreational, and attracting more youths not engaged in the coops. At 4pm, the club is joined by children coming out from school to join in these activities.

The club is primarily run by the local team leaders, with oversight and coaching given by the project Director. Together they are successfully building long term goals and with a view to being 80% self-sustaining by 2018.

This is an inspiring project. Overseas volunteers who can contribute arts and crafts  skills are welcome, both in the three existing cooperatives, plus new trades/skills they are seeking: recycling plastic bottles into art, carpentry, small scale animal husbandry and agriculture (to make use of a small plot of land they have) and metal working.

Volunteers with talents that can be used in the afternoon recreational sessions are also welcomed: volunteer to lead music, singing, sports, dance, art activities.  The club puts on occasional talent shows at weekends – its very own X-Factor, Tanzania

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Arts cooperative and youth club project 9

Overseas volunteers are required who can provide complementary skills for the club; preferably in trade skills that contribute to the business cooperatives, but also in the recreational skills to participate in the afternoon sessions.

Those with trade skills would be partnered with one of the team leaders initially, to help develop their sessions with the teams, but also to transfer on knowledge to the team leaders.

The feel of the whole project is a relaxed collaboration. How every volunteer participates is flexible, but there is a focused attitude to the club and volunteers will need to be similarly focused on how they can make the maximum impact through the skills and talents they have to share.

Desirable volunteer skills include: Arts & crafts, tailoring, jewellery, music, sports, carpentry, metal-working, animal husbandry, agriculture (running an allotment), business/marketing , leadership skills

How you can make a difference

Volunteers can contribute directly by bringing in new skills to the club and helping expand the talents they already have.

This is a project full of people wanting to learn and if you share skills then this will have a lasting impact for individuals who are learning life skills leading to sustainability.

There is a push to promote the role of women and girls at the club, so any participation or development of female oriented activity would help empower women locally and develop their confidence further.

What is distinctive about this project:

Working with the youth sector is a rare opportunity in African projects. It is an inspiring project already, and it provides volunteers with a wonderful opportunity to build on great foundations, working with talented local leaders.

The sharing of skills and talents is a real two-way opportunity for volunteers.

Blue Tiger Features:

This project is a wonderful opportunity to participate in an increasingly sustainable cooperative. Despite the laid back atmosphere of the project, they need skilled and purposeful volunteers, who can blend with the community spirit but also drive new initiatives and ideas, and where possible transfer skills to the local team.

Volunteers need to have the right levels of confidence and communication skills to be proactive and make a difference in this creative and dynamic project.


There is no official closed period for the club. There is a limit on the number of volunteers they can have at any one time however.


Knowing some Swahili is both courteous and fun, but a lot of your work will be using English.

Experience required:

Skills are required in the existing areas of art & crafts, tailoring, jewellery making. Specifically they would like someone with experience of making art from recycled plastics.

They would also be pleased to have a volunteer with experience in carpentry, animal husbandry, agriculture (to make use of a small plot) and metal working. Recreational skills in music, art, all sports are also useful, but volunteers need to have the communication skills required to share and teach the skill sets.

Good to know:

The project is located on the fringe of the pleasant town of Moshi, a short walk from the volunteer accommodation in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a great area; a nice intro to Africa, with easy access to adventures near and far in Tanzania.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks20 weeks6 months

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support.
Excludes: Required temporary work permit (CTA) payable locally, $250 + $50 administration charge for < 90 days. Higher rates apply for volunteers staying > 90 days

Things to see and do

  • Go safari
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Discover coffee
  • Hot springs
  • Laka Chala
Nicola West

Country co-ordinator

Nicola West

Nicola is the Manager of our healthcare partner in Moshi, Tanzania, and acts as the Outreach International Volunteer Coordinator. Nicola is married a Tanzanian and so is truly settled in the areas, offering volunteers a great deal of knowledge and insight on activities in the area.

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