Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Abroad in Tanzania

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Cross-Cultural Solutions.

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About

12 million Tanzanians live below the poverty line, a number almost unchanged over the last decade. A significant proportion of the population also hover just above the poverty line, and have very limited access to health care, quality education, and a decent standard of living. Under-nutrition remains one of the largest threats to human development in Tanzania and hits children the hardest by hindering their long-term physical and intellectual development.

Join CCS in Tanzania as we work to ensure children can reach their full potential. Universal primary education has drastically increased enrollment with more than 80% of primary school-age children attending, yet the quality of education offered and the increasing student dropout rates are a huge concern. With just 33% of children enrolling in secondary school our volunteer work focuses on girls and boys from preschool to teenage years to maximize their education as a pathway out of poverty.

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!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

8.58 Rating
based on 24 reviews
  • Impact 7.5
  • Support 9
  • Fun 7.1
  • Value 8.3
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 9 - 16 of 24
Default avatar
sandy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My home in Kilimanjaro

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Need for more volunteers and/or caregivers involvement to reduce the teacher/student ratio.
Default avatar
Mimi
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An introduction to Tanzania

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
A.
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Expensive & doesn't help the community

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.

Default avatar
Gord
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CCS Karanga, Tanzania

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.

What would you improve about this program?
More free time in the afternoons.
Default avatar
kdonna
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

No added value to the community

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.

Default avatar
Amy
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just Do It!

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Jess
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience in Moshi, Tanzania

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.

Default avatar
Justine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

"Lay down your heart" in Bagamoyo

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.