Women's Empowerment Project - Volunteer in Tanzania

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About

As a Give a Heart To Africa volunteer you will teach adult women to become entrepreneurs in our vocational school. They are truly a joy to work with, they are eager to learn and appreciate any help and knowledge our volunteers share with them. We have easy to follow lesson plans so no previous teaching experience is required. Our organization is run 100% by volunteers so we make sure your experience is a productive one. You will get to know our students not just at school but also by visiting them every Friday in their home.
We are located at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Moshi, Tanzania. Our school is adjacent to our house so we truly live with everybody as a small family.
Over the decade that GHTA has opened its doors to the Moshi community we have educated over 600 local residents and seen our graduates go onto create their own businesses that not just provide for their families but enrich the local economy as well.
We are looking forward to meeting you.

Highlights
  • Each year 50 disadvantaged women attend our program to learn basic business skills including English, business and vocational classes
  • Give a Heart to Africa is a small NGO offering our volunteers an intimate experience working with a small staff team and other volunteers
  • We have been in operation for over a decade with the only paid positions going to local Moshi residents
  • 100% of all donations and volunteer fees go to our programs, our students and the operation of the school
  • Volunteers have a unique opportunity to see a tangible impact on the students while there seeing growth in the women participants as they learn

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.94 Rating
based on 34 reviews
  • Impact 9.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 34
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Madison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing!

So glad I was able to come to GHTA and help at the school where my Aunt & Uncle have been volunteering at for years. All the students welcomed me with open arms, many of them came to me to practice their English or ask me math questions. The school's staff and volunteers I met were equally as welcoming, and I felt at home. GHTA really does make a difference improving the education and lives of it's students. The volunteers brought me to several stores in Moshi that were run by past graduates, it was wonderful meeting the former students! Sadly, I learned that in Tanzania most citizen's education ends at standard 7, which is the American equivalent of 6th grade. It is very expensive to attend private high school in Tanzania, and the majority of families can not afford it.
The women that attend the school work extremely hard. In my short time here I've watched students stay late for extra help, hold their baby in their arms while writing notes in class and help other students. I can't wait to come back and stay for longer next time. Everyone here feels like family, and it's so amazing helping women in another country change their lives for the better.

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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience of a lifetime

This was seven years ago and continues to be an amazing experience. I always leave feeling the women have given me more than I was able to give to them. They arrive at school each morning full of smiles and enthusiasm and as each week goes by you see them grow in confidence and ability. The weekly 'home visit' is such a special event, having each one of the women invite you into their home is so special and humbling.
If you want a hands-on experience that really makes a difference then GHTA is the most amazing experince.

What would you improve about this program?
This programme is totally dependant upon volunteers. The longer a volunteer can stay the better and more effective they can be, especially if it is for several months. I would try to encourage long-term (several months) volunteering.
Read my full story
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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved helping female entrepreneurs!

I volunteered with Give a Heart to Africa for two months teaching English and helping out with the vocational studies and family care. I really enjoyed getting to know the students during small group study while preparing for the midterms. It was also very rewarding to get to know the student’s families and home life through the home visits where volunteers have an opportunity to try home-cooked Tanzanian food and experience the day-to-day living of the students.

GHTA provides lots of support for volunteers from airport pick-up to tours of the town and surrounding areas to a well-developed curriculum on which to base your classroom activities. I made truly great friendships with the staff, students and other volunteers while at GHTA. The program at GHTA is not only rewarding for the volunteers but truly makes a positive impact on the women who become entrepreneurs and the local community.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Great support with this program starting with an airport pickup and a tour of Moshi. Curriculum is fully designed for volunteers to use and living with other volunteers allows for collaboration on lesson plans and weekend adventure partners.
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Victoria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once Was Not Enough!

I arrived in Moshi in June 2010 for my first volunteer experience with Give A Heart To Africa (GHTA), after much research and debate about which volunteer project to choose. I had never been particularly engaged in women’s issues before, but the fact that GHTA focused on women felt good to me, and was definitely one of the deciding factors in my choosing GHTA. In addition, at that time, the school was in great need of volunteers, which was another of the deciding factors for me, as I wanted to feel needed and to be kept busy. GHTA was promising a truly hands-on experience and that is what I was looking for. I did not want to volunteer for a large organization; I wanted a more “cohesive” type of experience, which is what GHTA offers, where the staff, students, and volunteers form one big family. That is the experience I got, and that is what has kept me going back! During my 4-month stint, I became a teacher for the first time in my life and had a blast! I taught English and then entrepreneurial skills (i.e., how to start a small business and be successful). Of course, I had major jitters in the beginning, but the help and kindness of the Tanzanian translators (all former students), a curriculum and lesson plans to guide me, and -- importantly -- the students’ enthusiasm, warmth, and smiles, soon put me at ease. The students were so grateful and eager just to be in school, that I knew that anything I could help them learn would be appreciated. The weekly visits to students’ homes were definitely a highlight of my volunteer experience, giving me the opportunity to see Tanzanian life up close and, importantly, get to know the students better. When it was finally time for me to return to my life before GHTA, I was definitely not ready to say good-bye! My time at GHTA helped put a lot of things in perspective in my life, and I returned to GHTA 9 months later to take on the role of general manager for one year – and what a year it was! I now live in Tanzania and visit the school when I can, and help interview prospective students. Please join our GHTA family. We need you!

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Wandering
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Visit Number 4!

I left my heart in Tanzania for the first time in 2013. Since then, I have traveled back to Give a Heart to Africa, four more times. During my most recent visit in the summer of 2019 I was in awe of how much impact this program has had. It has grown from a school, and a business cooperative, to a school with expanded programming, and three local businesses that grew out of GHTA, employee GHTA graduates, and continue to benefit from mentoring from volunteers and the local staff. I loved the teaching, there are lots of resources and supports to help. I also truly loved experiencing the local culture, which included weekly home visits to the students homes to meet their families. If you are looking for something that has impact that you can see, this is the place for you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't be afraid of the teaching if you have never taught.
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Karen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I fulfilling experience you will never regret or forget

I spent 4 weeks at GHTA in 2011 and I always remember the words of Monika, the founder, as she personally dropped me back at Killi airport and saw how sad I was leaving. She said kindly, “you’ll be back”. Well she was right. I’m writing this in 2019 from the GHTA school itself. Probably the biggest reason why I returned is the integrity and impact of this NGO. I saw first hand how volunteer skills are maximised and our fees directly fund the running of the GHTA school, empowering women’s though education and the support and security of every volunteer.
Moshi is in a romantic location at the foot of Kilimanjaro. It’s is a mid sized town with tourist business opportunities but unfortunately there are still a few hardships experienced by some of the residents, particularly women who, for various reasons, couldn’t complete their schooling and may have little or no work but have mouths to feed. This school is specifically for these lovely women who actually have huge potential (and smiles), teaching them English, business and vocation skills.
As a volunteer you live in the school. Sounds odd but that cuts out any travel hassles. We work Monday to Thursday mornings teaching and spend afternoons reviewing or helping at local business, started by ex GHTA students, organising extra tuition for those that need it or on Fridays we have home visits which is a great way to see how the ladies live. You don’t need to be a teacher to volunteer but thinking on your feet a bit helps. Moshi isn’t a raving social town from a foreigner perspective but there are some nice coffee shops and local restaurants to try. The curry here is actually really good. There is also a new 4 star hotel with a roof top bar here if, like me, you need to get your tourist vibe fix on occasion. You are also 5 hours away from Norongoro National Park (amazing), Tarangeri NP and 7 from the Serengeti. It’s easy to organise safari weekends while here and even bolt on a Zanzibar trip if you fancy. I’m here for 6 weeks as part of a longer trip through Africa and it’s going so fast! I know I will be sad to leave again. The women have been so wonderful and my experiences at GHTA have enriched my life.

What would you improve about this program?
Very little to improve upon. I would LOVE WiFi here but quite frankly electricity and hot water (which we have both) is the priority. 4G is available to buy in town and its pretty quick.
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Adair
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I left my heart in Moshi at GHTA

I chose this volunteer placement after extensive searching. I did NOT want to end up in a program catering to Gap Year students, rather one that is geared to adults with workforce skills. I DID come to this very concerned with my own safety, as i had never travelled solo in Africa. The fact that GHTA caters to women's education and economics (my career and passion) and is at the foot of Kilimanjaro (I am a mountaineer) sealed the deal. I decided to drop in for six weeks, live and work in a safe place, get the lay of the land, gain some knowledge of local ways and language, and take off for travelling adventure.
Instead: I spent my entire African stay of five months at GHTA, and extended as long as my life in the States would allow. At GHTA i was able to work closely and meaningfully with local women; spend long afternoons driking tea in their homes, meeting their families, playing with their children; live long enough in a town that i learned my way around and felt at home; met some fascinating young people who have become long distance friends; travelled to stunning safari and hiking locations on the weekends; spent long evenings in the hot humid dark talking with GHTA staff members about their lives and mine. Aide work is humbling and complicated. We will spend our lives wondering if we made a diffference in our students' lives. But one thing for sure: the students and staff of GHTA made a huge difference in my life. I long to return (and will do so!) and encourage anyone looking for a program deeply embedded in a community to check out GHTA.

What would you improve about this program?
Since i worked at the school the curriculum has been overhauled, which was overdue. I hope to return to work with it!
Lucy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable and Amazing

My two months volunteering at Give a Heart to Africa (January-March 2017) were more amazing than I can put into words. Organizations like GHTA are hard to find. Educating and empowering women in developing countries is sadly not always a first priority. When I was researching organizations to volunteer with and I found GHTA I was thrilled. An organization that not only educated women in subjects like English and math, but also vocations and business, was exactly what I was looking for.
The application process was simple and very informative. I talked to everyone involved in the organization and I felt very safe about my traveling plans.
Before I knew it I was landing in Tanzania! This was my first time traveling alone internationally so I was pretty nervous going somewhere completely new. However once I landed and met the people I would be working and living with for the next couple of months I knew that it was exactly where I wanted to be.
GHTA started feeling like a second home within a matter of days. Everyone involved in GHTA, especially the women who are the leaders of the organization, are more than passionate about helping not only women, but anyone in need, in and out of school. Over the years GHTA has been in Tanzania it is clear that they have worked and continue to work effortlessly towards empowering and bettering the lives of women in need. The change is clear. GHTA creates a huge impact in bettering the lives of their students and the community.
Volunteering for GHTA is an experience I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested. I made so many relationship and met people that I will never forget. Moshi is a safe community filled with the kindest people. Teaching at the school is a large responsibility and it is crucial that all volunteers commit their time and are serious about school, however outside of classes there are lots of opportunities to go on day trips, hiking, safari trips, exploring town, and many more things.
Volunteering at GHTA is an opportunity I am so unbelievably grateful to have experienced. If you have the chance, please please please go. It will be worth every minute.

What would you improve about this program?
I dont think there is really anything the program needs to improve, everyone involved in the organization does an amazing job.