Volunteer in Tanzania at a school and orphanage for disadvantaged children
Outreach International support two orphanages in Moshi, Tanzania. The term orphanage can be misleading; both operate as a refuge for children that have either lost both parents and are genuinely orphaned, or children who have left home to live on the street due to the circumstance at home, or where they have been asked to do so by parents or relatives who can no longer cope. All of them from challenging circumstances.
The aim is to provide the children a safe place to receive basic care and education, while ultimately trying to reunite them with their families where possible. The education is provided in part by a small amount of teaching on site, but primarily by securing sponsorship for the children to attend the local schools. Children arriving at the project will initially be taught on site, giving staff the chance to assess what other challenges the child might face, before going to the local schools. Once attending school, the children return to orphanage in the afternoons where homework clubs, reading, games, art & crafts and sports activities take place.
During the day the volunteers help with those children who are not yet at school. After school, volunteers help with the larger number of children returned from school, providing support with after school activities, home work clubs and recereation. There are children around at the weekend, so volunteers can join in with recreational activities if they wish.
Alternatively we recommend that volunteers participate at the Outreach primary school project in the mornings (project T10), and visit the orphanage in the afternoons, when there are more children requiring support.
This is ideal for gap year students who can share their energy and enthusiasm with the children, as well as basic teaching skills.
Both projects have few resources but provide the basics for the children well. Volunteers will work with the local staff to agree a schedule of activities that they can participate in according to their ambitions and skill sets. It requires proactive volunteers keen to make an impact, creating your own ideas on extra-curricular activities.
This is an opportunity for you to make a difference, through offering support to those individual children who would benefit from homework support or reading, or through organised activities such as art & crafts or football.
For those volunteers combining your time with the primary school, there is the opportunity to support primary school teaching in the morning and then provide homework support and recreational activities in the afternoons.
The children all come from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the project providing a basic level of safety, food and comfort. The activities and interest of volunteers helps in a number of ways, in particular supporting their learning, both inside and outside the classroom.
Volunteers give the children confidence through their engagement and encouragement. You make their lives (and yours) more fun. Few people have discretionary time to give these children – creating games, activities and playing sports will quickly bring a smile to the faces of children who have a lot of challenges in their lives.
I needed a little break in my job, and probably going away and doing something very different was one of the best things I could have done, Career break, Tanzania