What Will I Do as a Volunteer?

You will help to empower the women of Tanzania

Project Highlights:

  • You will be teaching in an Adult Educational Centre which is housed in school-like classrooms
  • You will be teaching English, Vocational Skills, or Business to local women
  • You will gain lots of hands-on experience as our project is run solely by volunteers
  • You will participate in Home Visits on Fridays. We visit one of our students, meet their family, share a meal, chat, and get to know more about our individual students and the local culture.
  • You will visit our students’ businesses, mainly in our Women’s Co-operative.  You will watch the students conduct business and help them to improve their daily business activities.
  • You will take part in our Children’s Program twice a week, teaching and playing with local children
  • You will truly participate in, learn about, and appreciate the Tanzanian culture

Our programs are available throughout the year and our volunteers can stay for any length of time.  Commonly, volunteers visit for 3 weeks, however, many stay for 3 months and some even longer.  The longer you stay, the richer your experience will be.  It is also better for our students when volunteers stay longer as it means they have fewer teachers and teaching styles to get accustomed to.

As a volunteer, you will find that having at least 3 weeks to work with a group of women will be helpful in getting to know them, gain their trust, and to learn and appreciate their individual needs and strengths.  Our program is 1 year long and you can time your volunteering to help us choose a new group of students or attend a graduation.  New semester starts every October and graduation is the last Saturday in September.

How Your Week Is Structured:

  • Monday & Thursday

    • 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Teach English, Vocational Skills, or Business classes
    • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Teach and play in our Children’s Program
  • Tuesday & Wednesday

    • 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Teach English, Vocational Skills, or Business classes
    • 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Teach extra help classes in English or Business
    • 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Help out in one of our co-operatives or food service kiosk, or help with other GHTA tasks. Tasks will be assigned based on our needs at the time you are volunteering.
  • Friday
    • Approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (time varies each week): We do a Home Visit with one of our students in their home (if agreed upon by the student).

Further Detail:

  • Teaching English – A curriculum and lesson plans are provided. This ensures teaching consistency as well as making teaching easier for volunteers who do not have prior experience in this area. There is also a Kiswahili teacher/translator in class each day. You will teach up to 20 students at a time in this class.
  • Teaching Vocational Skills – Volunteers teach various hands on skills based on their experience, skills and interest
  • Teaching Business – Volunteers teach basic business concepts and a curriculum and lesson plans are provided.  The curriculum has been developed specifically for Tanzania, in both English and Kiswahili.  A Kiswahili teacher/translator helps to teach the classes. Our business classes are very basic and easy for volunteers to understand and teach without prior business knowledge or experience.
  • Home Visits – We do home visits to better understand our students’ lives, dreams, struggles, hopes, and family situations.  This allows us to analyze the best ways to help our students in the future.  Our students truly look forward to these visits.  They are very hospitable, eager to share their lives with us, and to introduce us to their family members and neighbours.  We always bring a gift with us, such as a kilo of rice or sugar, to express our appreciation for their hospitality.  Home visits offer a wonderful cultural exchange for both our students and our volunteers.
  • Children’s Program – Twice a week we host a program for local children.  Volunteers organize and play games, teach the children how to read and count, sing songs, dance, draw, and more!  The children of Tanzania will warm your heart beyond words.  The number of children participating varies from 10 to 30.
  • Graduation Ceremony – Those volunteers who are present at the end of a semester have the unique opportunity to organize and participate in a graduation ceremony for our students.  It is a very joyous occasion for our students, their families, and our volunteers and gives you a special glimpse into a different aspect of Tanzanian culture.

Experience in the above subjects is not necessary because we have a curriculum that our volunteers can follow and use as a teaching guideline. This ensures teaching consistency and continuity in the classroom and will enable you to be a prepared and confident teacher. If you have a specific area of expertise or interest, in addition to the aforementioned ones, please let us know in advance so that we may be able to integrate your talent and/or interest in our program.

For more information on why we teach the subjects we do, please visit the Adult Education Centre page.

If any of your questions have not been answered here,  please email Monika Fox at monika@giveahearttoafrica.org.

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