Cross-Cultural Solutions - Volunteer Programs in Tanzania

This project home-base is located in the lush foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After you land, you'll be greeted by CCS staff and taken back to your new home, where you'll be provided with safe drinking water and local home-cooked meals daily (things like rice, beans, and chips maiai!). You'll get to know other volunteers in your new home, which is equipped with your own locker and up to date safety installations. While immersing yourself in an exciting new culture, CCS will make sure your well-being is taken care of.*

After you get settled, it'll be time to jump in to the Tanzanian community, where people are struggling with a lack of resources, lasting effects of colonialism, and the ongoing impact of HIV/AIDS. CCS gives you the chance to impact local orphanages, daycare centers, schools, community centers, clinics, and women empowerment's centers in a responsible way.

After volunteering for the day, you'll be able to walk around your neighborhood or explore some of the gorgeous spots nearby. We proudly believe we provide the perfect mix of quality work, cultural immersion, adventure, and relaxation - all while having 24/7 access to CCS staff and support. Come see for yourself!

*CCS adheres to rigorous safety and security measures that are consistently reviewed by an expertly trained team. This includes weekly car inspections on all CCS vehicles, regular home smoke-detector tests, stocked first-aid kits, and much more. From the highest level to the smallest detail, we've thought of everything so you don't have to!

Program Info

Location: 
  • TanzaniaKilimanjaro
Volunteer Types: 
Arts
Health
Sexual Health
Disabled Care
Medical
Childcare
Street Children
Community Development
Education
Service Learning
Teaching
Human Rights
Women's Rights
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
Cost: 
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Cost Description: 

What You Get For The Fee
* Personalized Volunteer Placement with our Partner Programs, based on your skills and interests, including all the coordination, in-person visits and communication necessary with each local organization.
* In-country Perspectives Programming that includes excursions to nearby points of interest, special events and discussions with a variety of local cultural, professional, governmental and community agencies and people.

Languages: 
English
Swahili
Housing: 
Volunteer House
Travel: 
Participants travel to the program independently (not in a group with other participants).
Some travel is required during the program.
Application: 
Online Application
Health Requirement
Other

Videos

Program Reviews (19)

84%
Positive
Leave a Review
  • Impact
    72%
  • Support
    89%
  • Fun
    82%
  • Value
    89%
  • Safety
    94%
  • Elizabeth J
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Rexburg Idaho
    Other
    Shantytown = Anazingtown
    11/13/2014

    Shantytown in Moshi Tanzania will forever be in my heart. From my kindergarten class to my babies at Upendo children's home the experience was incredible. CCS is an expensive organization by they do take good care of their volunteers.
    My second week there I was in a horrible safari truck accident resulting in the death of a fellow volunteer. I decided to stay my remaining 6 weeks to share myself & love w the children of Tanzania. I was there to save the children yet they ended up saving me.
    I went to Upendo in the afternoon each day. We fed them grain cereal several times a day & played w them outside a lot. Bath time was my favorite! Getting them all clean & ready for bed and in their pajamas was so fun!
    Kindergarten at Rau primary school was equally rewarding. I was teaching English to them in simple form such as alphabet, animals, colors etc. The little stinkers got good at memorization so I got to mix it up so they actually learned separate letters not just the alphabet A-Z. I loved the teacher I taught with & got to be a special guest at her wedding!
    I could write pages on my time in Tanzania! For the most part I felt safe & often walked to many places. Such a simple humble place & way of life. I made lifelong friends with other volunteers. Due to my circumstances 5 girls I was in the accident with and also the family of our friend who passed are a big part of my life to this day.
    The landscape, the people, the children are all so incredible and will forever be in my heart & mind.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would love to still be able to know how the babies & children I was with are doing.

    Photos:
    My kindergarten class
    Lunch time!
    Wedding!
    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 0
  • Mindy G.
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Indiana
    Franklin College
    Trip of a Lifetime
    11/10/2014

    I absolutely loved this program! The CCS staff are wonderful and make you feel at home. The homebase was comfortable, clean, had good security, helpful and friendly staff, and food was very good! My co-volunteers were great fun, and we enjoyed each other's company.

    I volunteered with UKUN, an AIDS outreach NGO in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Daily work with UKUN included home visits to check on and care for AIDS patients, hospital visits with patients, home improvement projects for patients, and educational work with staff, patients and healthcare workers. It was an incredible experience! The relationships I developed through this NGO will last a lifetime, and I carry the patients I worked with in my heart always.

    Tanzania as a country to visit is great! For the most part, people are friendly and welcoming, and there is so much to see in the country! As with anywhere, you have to be mindful that you are a traveler, and there are those that may try to take advantage of that situation.

    How could this program be improved?

    Better computer access. We had one computer to share amongst 12 people. Another computer, or available wifi would have been very helpful.

    Photos:
    Women's support group for AIDS patients in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.
    Visit to Bagamoyo District Hospital
    Local market visit.
    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Kim
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Grande Prairie, Alberta
    University of Calgary
    In the shadow of Kilimanjaro
    11/07/2014

    Right from the beginning of my volunteer experience I felt at ease. I was picked up from the airport in Kilimanjaro and taken to the CCS house where I would spend the next month. The staff were soooo welcoming and supportive. The orientation is extensive and provides you with the chance to get to know your felow houseguests/volunteers. My volunteer experience wasn't quite what I expected. I was teamed with a local NGO. I expected that there would be a project that I would just pick up with and get to work. But it wasn't really structured like that. Nevertheless, I made use of my time and hopefully made a contribution to the local community. This was and experience and opportunity I hold dear and I'm so grateful I was able to participate.

    How could this program be improved?

    Maybe more structure for programming or communication as to what is expected of a volunteer. I was not at a nursery school so when I walked through the door of my volunteer placement it was all on me to determine how I would fill my time there. Having had little experience in Africa and aid work I didn't come prepared to develop a project for myself.

    Photos:
    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • sandy elbert
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Toledo, Ohio
    Other
    My home in Kilimanjaro
    11/04/2014

    Most inspiring is the love I received from the children. They received so much more then I feel I gave. So many of them are like sponges soaking up all the learning opportunities. The kids , teachers, and locals won my heart. My heart and soul now lie in Tanzania until I return for a year on my own. I will depart again only 10 weeks after my return from the first trip to the Kilimanjaro Region. I will be home in Tanzania.

    How could this program be improved?

    Need for more volunteers and/or caregivers involvement to reduce the teacher/student ratio.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Mimi
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Montreal Canada
    McGill University
    An introduction to Tanzania
    07/29/2014

    I spent 4 weeks with CCS at the Moshi/Karanga location in Tanzania, while volunteering at a nursery school. I have mixed notes, (although mostly positive,) to make about the experience I had with CCS, starting with the overall prep to make the journey overseas to Tanzania. I was travelling alone, as a young female, and I felt confident and prepared for my arrival in Kilimanjaro thanks to the help of CCS; from immunizations, to my visa, to my flights, they were very helpful in all aspects to prepare me for my time in Tanzania. The home-base staff were amazing and so welcoming. They made me feel safe and comfortable, and definitely became my family away from home. And I still keep in touch with many of the staff to this day. The first two weeks are filled with mandatory cultural and educational activities. I enjoyed the guest speakers, which ranged from education and gender struggles, to HIV/Aids within the community. The Swahili lessons were a bit silly. I learnt more of the national language while volunteering with the children, or through the locals and staff at home-base than through the Swahili lessons. I INSIST that anyone who is considering this program to go for over two weeks. Since the first two weeks are filled with activities, you don't have too much free time to get to the know the locals or wander around Moshi on your own. And, although CCS provided a clean and safe environment for myself and the other volunteers, after the first week or so you will realize how sheltered they keep you seems a tad unnecessary. They have strict rules about where you can go in town, along with a set curfew. After meeting so many locals and 'ex-pats' in town, (who lived in the community, cooked for themselves, and walked to work like everyone else,) I quickly came to the conclusion that CCS was a bit of a rip off, and how I would personally prefer to be a bigger part of the community. That being said, it was an amazing introduction to Tanzania. As for the volunteer aspect of CCS, I have no complaints. I worked at an established nursery school and was guided in the beginning on what areas the children needed help with before taking over as the class teacher. (TEACHA TEACHA!) I took it upon myself to create lesson plans, educational games, and fun activities for the children, along with spending time with the kids who needed individual attention to succeed with the lesson plans. With my free-time after the first two weeks, I spent more afternoons, (since you only work mornings according to the CCS schedule,) at the nursery school and even checking out other placements. Throughout this experience I have made life-long friends, whether they were other volunteers, or locals I met. I will now be returning for my third visit to East Africa, as an independent volunteer, which saves me a ton of money and gives me more freedom to be a part of the everyday life in Moshi!

    How could this program be improved?

    You will need to take it upon yourself to see more of the community and to meet others outside of the home-base walls, along with being able to create your own plan for your volunteer assignment, if you want to make a lasting impact while in Tanzania.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 3 Inspiring: 1
  • A. H.
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    NYC, NY
    The Juilliard School
    Expensive & doesn't help the community
    07/09/2014

    I would research other organizations that do more for the local community. The program fee is on an American scale, and our fees do not help the local community, but rather the overpaid staff and very nice CCS headquarters in the US.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 6 Inspiring: 1
  • Gord M.
    Age: 51 or older
    Male
    Edmonton, Canada
    Simon Fraser University
    CCS Karanga, Tanzania
    12/09/2013

    The whole experience in Karanga was beyond my expectations. The staff was very open, friendly, helpful and readily answered all questions. They made my placement enjoyable and safe. The home base was nicer than I expected, very clean and modern. The cultural education we received made the trip more than "just a vacation." We got to know the Tanzanian people, culture and history in ways I never would have otherwise. Thanks.

    How could this program be improved?

    More free time in the afternoons.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 2 Inspiring: 0
  • kdonna
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    new york
    No added value to the community
    11/25/2013

    CCS sends volunteers to different places such as kindergartens, schools, clinics etc. Often the teachers think it is time off. There is no guidance. CCS drops you off at work but that's all. They actually do nothing for the community and the projects they 'support'. So basically you pay a hefty fee to support their expensive office in NY and the local house staff. I don't need anybody to make my bed every day!!! I just wanted to come in and actually help only to realize there was no added value. They don't create or run any projects. They house you and feed you and drive you around. And it is a super corrupt place, if you stay there long enough you learn how it all actually works.
    I was very disappointed. I can't believe they get away with this. Definitely not an NGO. I could have stayed at some cheap place in town and went to volunteer in a school myself. But then what's the point when that school already has a teacher and I am not a professional teacher thus have not much to ad in terms of professional development?
    There are a lot more worthy projects around, that don't charge arm and a leg and actually do something for the community. Do your home work and ask where your money goes. This is a money making business. At 20 + volunteers per month, over $2000 each...do the math. And they give nothing to the community. So where does it go?
    If you just want a good pub story and feel good about partying with 20 other volunteers then go with CCS. You'll certainly get a party environment.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 9 Inspiring: 1
  • Amy Miller
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Canada
    University of Alberta
    Just Do It!
    07/20/2013

    Volunteering in Tanzania is something I will never forget. While in Tanzania I was placed in a Nursery school (preschool - Kindergarten). I took the children in small groups to give them extra practice with their English - we played games, and used flashcards. I showed them objects in their everyday use to help them. We covered shapes, colors, animals, fruit/vegetables.
    In the afternoons we had really good guest speakers come in and share about their country. We had outings into the communities and surrounding areas.
    My favorite non-volunteering experience was learning how to bargain at the street markets. Its quite the experience.
    Everything about the program (Moshi/Karanga) was absolutely amazing!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would add more cultural experience to the first 2 weeks - less guest speakers, and more cultural experiences. Although the guest speakers had an impact on some of the volunteers.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 3 Inspiring: 0
  • Jess
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Honolulu, HI
    Xavier University
    Amazing Experience in Moshi, Tanzania
    10/12/2012

    The CCS staff was wonderful from the beginning - helpful with answering questions and allowing me to practice my horrible Kiswahili. I was placed at an orphanage that didn't have a lot of structure, but you get out of it what you put into it. The children were wonderful and our daily exchanges were a lot of fun.
    The cultural explorations, and educational trips were informative and enjoyable.
    The facilities and accommodations were much nicer than expected and I don't know if I've ever eaten so well.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 0
  • Justine
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Philadelphia, PA
    Other
    "Lay down your heart" in Bagamoyo
    08/25/2012

    I spent 4 weeks during the summer of 2012 in Bagamoyo, Tanzania with CCS. I am still trying to figure out how to describe my time there. It was fun, enriching, rewarding, challenging, motivating, awesome. I was placed at a local primary school and taught English to 10 and 11 year olds. They were so welcoming and so much fun. The in-country staff is outstanding and supported us in so many ways. They were friendly and caring and definitely created a home away from home. The programming included awesome events, guest speakers, and field trips. Plus, the weekends were free to do some traveling, and I got to visit Zanzibar and the incredible national parks in Northern Tanzania. CCS provides a well-rounded experience. I thought I was traveling as a volunteer, but the CCS program was much more than that. I have learned so much about the country of Tanzania and its people. I would highly recommend volunteering with CCS.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 0
  • Erin
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    University of Calgary
    Bagamoyo is the place to be!
    05/07/2012

    I volunteered in Bagamoyo, Tanzania for 4 weeks. Upon arrival at the airport we were picked up by knowledgeable and welcoming staff who then drove us to our home stay location.
    During out stay we volunteered from Monday to Friday and then were given the weekend to travel and explore the rest of the country. The local staff gave us valuable information about places to visit and tour operations to help us along the way. The weekend trips were wonderful and a nice way to explore the rest of a country on a budget.
    Prior to our volunteering, each volunteer met with the individuals that we would be volunteering with. We arranged a schedule and discussed what role they wanted us to play during our time together. I was placed in a small rural school, about 1 hr outside of Bagamoyo. The only downside was that the location was far, and the roads were horrible, the major reason why it took us so far to get to. There were also no facilities at the school, but you learn pretty quickly how to quat in the bush! The school that I was at was incredibly welcoming. The students were superb and very well behaved. They were eager to learn, and loved the fact that I played with them during recess times. It was an absolutely incredible experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
    Throughout the week CCS also provided language lessons, cultural tours, and other activities that allowed us to learn more about the area. We had ample amount of time to enjoy the beach and explore on our own also.
    This organization is very well prepared and works hard to match you according to your abilities and where you feel comfortable. They prepare you very well before your arrival and while there, there wasn't a time when I didn't feel safe.
    Again, I highly recommend them! I made many relationships with the staff that still hold strong today.
    This will be a life changing experience if you choose to participate!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 3 Inspiring: 0
  • Kelsey
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Oshkosh, WI.
    University of Wisconsin
    Life-Changing Experience With CCS In Moshi, Tanzania.
    04/25/2012

    Volunteering with CCS was the greatest experience of my life. They provided great support before, during, and after our trip and I felt 100% safe. While in Tanzania we volunteered 5 days a week at our placements and then went back to the homebase for a variety of experiences. The in-country CCS staff made sure we were comfortable at our volunteer placements, provided us with cultural lessons, kiswahili lessons, and cultural experiences. We went to a Maasai market, a waterfall, neighboring towns, blacksmith, and many other things. I fell in love with the culture, people, and especially children of Tanzania. I hope that everyone can have an experience like this one and I would, without hesitation, recommend CCS as the program to volunteer through.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Braden
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Rochester, NY
    Other
    Once In A Lifetime Opportunity In Tanzania.
    04/24/2012

    I woke up everyday around 630 a.m. and ate breakfast which was prepared by the host program we stayed at. The host program then drove us to our respective locations to work from 730 a.m to 100 p.m. Teaching was difficult because the students barley spoke English, and the teacher didn't either. However, the students were very loving (they were aged between 3 years old to 6 years old). I taught English, math, science, arts and crafts, and sports for about 45 minutes each. There wasn't a lot of teaching equipment to work with. I brought my own chalk, pens, and paper. Good thing I did because the school didn't really have any. The experience was very rewarding though and by the end the students did learn a lot. One of the students picked up on English extremely fast and by the end was able to have basic conversations with me. While the teaching was difficult because of the language barrier, I would defiantly do this again.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Nicolewright
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Central New Jersey
    Other
    Once in a lifetime experience
    04/24/2012

    I volunteered at Mwasama Primary teaching second graders. Each and everyday I met new and interesting people who were enthusiastic about the volunteers. The kids I taught touched my life in a way I can't explain in words. It's 4 years later and i still think about my time in Tanzania. From teaching in school to walking to the local shops and meeting people from the are each day was an experience to remember. I plan to volunteer again with CCS in the future and would highly reccomend it to anyone interested!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0

Alumni Interviews

  • Kelsey on a coffee/waterfall tour in Tanzania
    Kelsey on a coffee/waterfall tour in Tanzania

    Morning: We would get up and get ready for the day, eat breakfast with our fellow volunteers which was cooked for us by our incredible chef, Primo. We would then get into the vans with fellow volunteers and be dropped off at our placements. I volunteered at Bridge Nursery School. Volunteering at Bridge began each morning with singing and dancing with our kids, then we moved into our classrooms. I helped teach English, simple math (adding/subtracting/counting), letters, shapes, and colors to a classroom of 4 and 5 year olds.

    Afternoon: After class we would spend time outside playing with the kids and help with one-on-one attention to some of the children. After placement each day we were picked up and driven back to our home-base for lunch. When we finished lunch we would walk into Moshi Town and do some shopping with fellow international volunteers and local volunteers. Some days we returned for Kiswahili or cultural lessons. Some days we went on culture trips with some of the CCS staff to see different towns and villages, Maasai Markets, etc.

    Evening: We would then return in the evening for dinner, again, cooked by Primo. After dinner we would visit with fellow volunteers, plan for our volunteer placement the following day, and e-mail/call family members back home.

  • Why did you decide to volunteer with CCS in Tanzania?

    Alison: This decision to volunteer in Tanzania started by a suggestion of a friend who had just travelled to Africa. I have always wanted to go to Tanzania and was searching for options to do so in a volunteer capacity. I found CCS on-line and after reviewing a few other international volunteer programs, decided to send an email to CCS requesting information. I presented this idea to my husband and he was thrilled - after a couple of days of deliberation, we both decided that we would register with CCS because of how helpful the coordinator was and because of all the positive feedback I was able to read on-line. I am so happy and feel so fortunate to have done so, as this experience has changed me in ways I didn't think were possible.

    Alison spent time with young Tanzanians while volunteering
    Alison spent time with young Tanzanians while volunteering

    Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

    Alison: Every morning I woke up bright and early to write in my journal about the day before. Our days were filled with so much action that by the end of the night I was too tired to write. After breakfast all the volunteers would get dropped off at their placement. I was placed at the Bagamoyo Young Artist Centre (BYAC) with a fellow volunteer, Andrew, a high-school math teacher from Australia.

    Bagamoyo Young Artist Centre was established in 2009 by three young, local artists that felt compelled to do their part in guiding the local youth out of poverty. These talented artists use their skills and knowledge to teach the children to paint, carve and dance while Cross Cultural Solutions provide volunteers to help. Funding for this program is solely reliant on the sales of the art pieces produced by these artists. Although their pieces are beautiful and one-of-a-kind, the lack of tourists has caused their sales to suffer and as a result, the program has suffered. Basic supplies such as notebooks and pencils are limited and also the funds to provide a daily breakfast program has become scarce.

    Andrew and I had decided that we would alternate our time with the BYAC - some days one of us would teach the children games to learn English and also basic math and the other would be with the artists guiding them on how to sustain the program. Every day we had a learning theme such as colors, animals, etc. Since the program was so under resourced and had no books or pencils or any basic supplies we had the children draw their own English/Swahili flashcards.

    My time with the artists was spent teaching them how to compose professional documentation so that they would be able to apply for funding. First we had to identify which basic needs for the program were priorities. Our first project was to apply for funds to go towards a daily breakfast program. Each day I provided a lesson for them and we would go through a portion of a proposal. Consequently, they would take that information and have it drafted for me in their words. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't doing the proposal for them and that they understood why we needed certain information. Everyday they never ceased to amaze me as they had absorbed so much of what I taught them and were eager to show me their work.

    Spending time with the children had equally rewarding benefits. They are so pleasant and enthusiastic to learn new games and songs. The first portion of our time would be writing, reading and drawing. After every lesson we would take the kids to the beach and Andrew would teach them fun songs and dances and I would teach them yoga.

    Volunteer with children in Tanzania with Cross Cultural Solutions
    Volunteer with children in Tanzania with Cross Cultural Solutions

    The CCS driver would pick us up around noon and we would head back to home base for lunch and to regroup with the other volunteers. Shortly after lunch there would usually be an activity or a guest speaker or a Swahili lesson. The first week is filled with amazing cultural activities in the afternoon and the weeks after we had more free time to work on lesson plans for our placements or venture around town. Evening would arrive quickly and after dinner and chatting with everyone I was ready for bed.

    Our weekends were less structured and we had a lot of free time to ourselves. One weekend my husband and I flew up to Kilimanjaro to go on a short safari. We were taken to Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara and the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater.

    How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

    Alison: This experience has opened my eyes and heart to a world that I did not know still existed. Living in Canada, I see what many people take for granted - opportunity to education, healthcare and excessive living. At first, I was frustrated because we have so much and they have so little. But it's this struggle that brings tenacity to the children in Bagamoyo. They don't have a lot of material possessions but the kids I worked with had a great sense of community and were so inventive and resourceful. I arrived at Bagamoyo with so much I wanted to teach them and in turn it was them who taught me about the simple joys in life that first-world living can over look.

    I am still proud to hold on to my volunteer role and since I have left Bagamoyo I continue to bring awareness to programs in Tanzania such as BYAC. I am able to help them raise funds for their various projects share my positive experience. I hope to return in the near future to see the progress in the program.

    I am so thankful and feel very blessed to have been able to travel to Bagamoyo - there will always be a special place in my heart for the CCS in-country staff, the children and the artists at BYAC and the other volunteers.

    Volunteer Alison teaching yoga to kids in Tanzania
    Volunteer Alison teaching yoga to kids in Tanzania

About the provider

The Cross-Cultural Solutions Volunteer Abroad experience allows students and travelers to gain valuable experience overseas while working side by side with local individuals and communities to make an impact.

Since 1995, over 35,000 people have volunteered with Cross-Cultural Solutions, providing meaningful and sustainable volunteer services to international communities, and contributing responsibly to local economies.

Volunteers gain valuable experience working in areas such as education, healthcare, and social services. Visit the Cross-Cultural Solutions website to learn more about how we're changing everything.