Women's Empowerment Project - Volunteer in Tanzania

Video and Photos

GHTA Women
GHTA Women
hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro
a meeting of some student's after class.
Kilimanjaro as seen from downtown Moshi.
Mount Kilimanjaro as seen from Give a Heart to Africa
Volunteer with women in Tanzania
Volunteer with women in Tanzania
Volunteer with women in Tanzania
Volunteer with women in Tanzania
Teach women in Tanzania
Teach women in Tanzania

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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 34 reviews
  • Impact 9.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 16 - 30 of 34
Default avatar
Bruce
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

Most rewarding. I've never seen students more enthusiastic. Great adventure like nothing I've ever done. Can't wait to return.
Certainly loved the scenery and doing some climbing of Kilimanjaro. Also, went to Serengeti on safari. Not to be missed!

What would you improve about this program?
Funding is a major issue. I will help to bring balance to income.
Default avatar
Jean-Marie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GHTA makes a real difference

I volunteered at GHTA for 2 months as a Maths teacher, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make a real difference in a community that needs it. GHTA is a relatively small organisation in Moshi where everyone's individual contribution really mattered, and this was perfect for me - you really get out what you put in.

* My review turned out longer than I expected, so I've broken it up into sections for you:

1) VOLUTEERING

Teaching the Mamas was both a joy and a very humbling experience, as they were just so keen and eager to learn. Each volunteer teacher is paired with a local translator who is familiar with the course, and together we taught the Mamas from 9am-12pm, four days a week (Mon-Thurs). It was challenging at times, trying to figure out how to help them best understand a concept, but patience, perseverance and creativity won through every time. It's particularly rewarding to see how pleased your Mamas are when they realise how much they have learned - especially given that many of them haven't studied past standard 7, and most haven't been in school for many many years.

Every Monday and Thursday from 2-4pm, we ran a play group for our students' children as well as other children who live close to GHTA. Together, we would play football, hopscotch, skip, dance, build lego structures, make arts and crafts, read, colour and draw, and just generally have a good laugh! I really do miss the children, they are funny and energetic and beautiful and so loving.

Fridays were reserved for home visits - this is where we spend the morning visiting a Mama from our school, to meet and get to know her and her family in her home, and observe first hand her living conditions. These home visits gave great insight into how our Mamas lived and I really enjoyed getting to know our Mamas better.

2) FREE TIME

I found that I had plenty of time to experience Tanzanian culture. We volunteers usually spent our weekends exploring Tanzania: We went on Safari to Tarangire NP, Serengeti NP and Ngorogoro Crater (super highly recommended), went to Zanzibar, did a day hike of Kili (though if I had my time again I would have done a whole week hike and skipped the day hike), visited Arusha and Marangu waterfalls. I also visited our watchman's Masai village past Arusha which I found fascinating. During the week, we would hang out in Moshi at the local shops, pools, restaurants and bars, etc... Personally, I loved watching local football matches - there were some at the university next to our school (the winning team won a cow!), as well as a league that my translator played in 20 minutes away from our school. I also bought a guitar from a shop and spent a chunk of time teaching others how to play the guitar – my students were friends of GHTA, our watchmen and even some Mamas! I loved these more personal experiences, and made some really good friends along the way.

3) GHTA - THE ORGANISATION

Monika runs GHTA, and she looks after her volunteers well. She gives us enough guidance so that we have an idea of what to expect in terms of volunteering and living in the volunteer house, but also gives us a lot of independence and freedom to do our own thing. I really liked this approach. Our volunteer house was comfortable and safe and had everything we needed (although electricity and water did turn off every once in a while, but this is a Tanzania wide issue). Monika is honest and a straight shooter, and she'll do her best to help you out. At the same time, it is also up to you to ask her questions and bring things to her attention if you need anything.

I also particularly liked how 100% of my volunteer fee went to supporting the school. The only paid staff are the Tanzanian translators, watchmen, cook and cleaner, and Monika really does try to run the school as efficiently as possible. And the volunteer fee is really very reasonable ($300 a week for the first 4 weeks, and $150 for every week after that).

What also impressed me was how donations to GHTA for particular purposes actually went to those particular purposes. (Eg. Sponsorship intended for supporting a past student's further education actually was used for the past student's further education). As a small organisation, it is easier to track these donations, and I feel comfortable donating money to GHTA because I know that nothing is lost in overhead costs, and will actually go to the 'cause' I ask for the funds to go to.

4) SUMMARY

Sorry for the essay, but I really did love my experience at GHTA and wanted to give you as much information as possible! In short, Moshi and these Mamas are a community that will benefit so much from your decision to volunteer there. It is a welcoming community, and if you immerse yourself into the experience, you will make such a difference and feel incredibly rewarded at the same time. I highly recommend volunteering with GHTA, and am happy to answer any questions you may have - just give me a shout.

What would you improve about this program?
As I've said before, this program is better suited to people who are comfortable being independent and proactive as it is a small organisation which does not have very standardised programs that other larger organisations may have, other than the teaching schedule I've written about above. However, personally this was not an issue for me.
Default avatar
Halina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You'll Want to Go More Than Once!

Volunteering with GHTA was such an amazing experience - I wish I had stayed longer! The people living in Moshi were incredibly welcoming and Monika and the staff made me feel at home. I made friends who I still keep in touch with and we even organized weekend excursions, such as going on a safari. The program is well organized and designed so you really feel like you are making an impact in the community. I felt safe and secure both in the town of Moshi and in the volunteer house. I would recommend this volunteer experience wholeheartedly.

Default avatar
has91
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Big Adventure

I volunteered with GHTA a few years ago, but still remember the experience like it was last month. I was only eighteen when I visited, but felt supported and safe for the time I was there. The staff of the organisation were inspirational in themselves, their ambitions were so selfless. It was great to see real impact being made. Unlike other agencies, where you pay a lot without really seeing where your money is going (into bureaucrats pockets), this organisation gives back everything it gets. The teaching side of things was difficult to begin with, but with structured lesson plans, a translator and fellow volunteers to help you, it became easier. I came to really enjoy it. It was a big, incredible adventure. I met some people in Tanzania I will never ever forget, and I thank them for a wonderful experience, that was indeed life changing.

What would you improve about this program?
Easier puzzles.
Lisa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First time volunteering abroad

I volunteered for GHTA at the end of 2009. It was not an ideal time to go as the school itself was closed for most of my time there (Christmas break). I think I taught English for about a week, when the school-reopened. The students were great, and very eager to learn. Despite the bad timing, Monika arranged for my friend and I to volunteer in one of the student's homes, where she ran a make-shift school for children. That was a truly great experience and I'm thankful for that opportunity. I still keep in touch with the woman and her daughters to this day.

I'm not a fan of paying to volunteer (had a bad experience in Kenya that has left me quite cynical!), but I support this cause. It's small, it's legit, and I would/have recommended this program to those interested in international volunteering.

I also want to add that Monika introduced us to a good friend of her's who operates a Kilimanjaro trekking company. I kept in touch with her and two years later, returned to Moshi and did the climb. I don't think I would have ever considered climbing Kilimanjaro had I not talked to her friend. And that climb was life-changing. So thank you GHTA!

What would you improve about this program?
The only negative part of my experience was being left alone in the house for a week (soon after arrival) without a working phone. If I hadn't had my friend with me I think I would have been extremely uncomfortable. But I'm naturally paranoid and a "worst case scenario" thinker, so maybe it was just me!
Default avatar
Marianne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Real hands-on involvement in empowering women in Moshi, Tanzania

This is a relatively small project, that delivers great results, and because it is small, you are completely involved from the moment you arrive. I taught English at the school, and was completely humbled by these women, and some men, who turned up every day to learn, always impeccably turned out despite the often abject conditions they were living in. My experience with these wonderful people, in this wonderful part of the world, gave me a very different perspective on life, and I hope, made me a better person. It was also loads of fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
While I agree that no programme is perfect, I cannot think of a single thing I would change.
Default avatar
Sara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such a fulfilling experience!

My first encounter with GHTA was when I volunteered as a teacher in the summer of 2011. I had participated in other international volunteer projects in the past but I was extremely excited about the opportunity to apply and share some of the knowledge I had gained throughout my business degree with the students studying business at GHTA. I was also thrilled that all of my volunteer fees would have a direct impact on the community in Moshi. During my time in Tanzania I experienced so many unforgettable moments. Monika ensures that volunteers have a fulfilling and diverse experience by providing opportunities to teach, help with the children’s program and attend home visits.

Tanzania is absolutely beautiful and the strength and warmth of the people is extraordinary. If you are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience with a direct and sustainable impact, GHTA is the place for you!

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

I will definitely return

I had an amazing time teaching at GHTA. I never taught before and I was a bit hesitant to teach women who were older than me. But they made my experience unforgettable. They came to school early in the morning to sweep the ground, smiled, said hello to me, always mispronounced my name :-), they invited me to their home, they wanted to learn so badly. I understood for the first time what a privilege we have in the West to get free or affordable education. These women would do anything to study. Some came for an interview several times until they were accepted. They are so determined and eager to learn. They were truly a pleasure to meet and to learn from. I learned more from them and from living at the GHTA house, talking to Monika about life in Tanzania and having a chance to visit neighbourhoods I would never have a chance to visit as a tourist... than I ever expected.
It is a valuable, hands on experience that I highly recommend and I hope to come back next year again. My only wish is I could have stayed longer.

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

Empowering Women - I Left a Piece of my Heart in Tanzania

I am writing this review after my SECOND volunteer experience at GHTA. I cannot possibly say enough about the hearts and souls that drive this organization, nor the direct impact (which you can see while you are there) on the local women and community.
The practical stuff...the first time I volunteered at GHTA I had never before travelled solo across the world to volunteer in a developing country. Monika, the GHTA staff and volunteers made me feel at home and even now I think of Moshi, Tanzania as a second home. They provided support, answered questions, made recommendations, helped me arrange experiences and helped me gain confidence to navigate around on my own. The house is well cared for, the accommodations very clean and comfortable, the food is made with love by Margret, and you get lots of support as you become a teacher. The NGO is small, but that also means that the funds go directly to the program and it's participants.
The heart...I have been so greatly impacted by my experience at GHTA and the people in Tanzania. Even though I was there as a teacher, I feel I learned so much...about myself, what is important, honouring the experiences of others, the complexity of social issues, the resiliency of spirit and what amazing places GHTA, Moshi and Tanzania all are! (oh...and I can also piece together bits of conversation in Swahili!) I loved my teaching time everyday, I loved playing with the local kids in the afternoon (we made playdough, goo and played lots of games), I loved exploring on the weekends and I loved spending time with the students, other volunteers and Tanzanian staff.
There are lots of places that want your money and time. I have no regrets giving mine to GHTA. I suspect I will go back again soon! So, I can recommend GHTA without any hesitation! You will get to help the women of Tanzania gain the skills they need, learn about a different part of the world, experience the culture and meet other phenomenal volunteers from around the world. Maybe you will leave a piece of your heart behind as I did.

What would you improve about this program?
I would love to be able to spend more time with the students.
Default avatar
Sophia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience I'll never forget

Volunteering at GHTA was incredibly special experience for me.

The students are so eager to learn and truly appreciate your time. Teaching was such a new experience so I was nervous, but I had an ex-student as my translator who was by my side every lesson. There was also a curriculum which was a fantastic guide.

Fridays was home visit day- this was my favourite day as you got to meet the students family, get quality time to get to know them better and really get an understanding of the local culture.

The volunteer house was great, I always felt safe and it was fun living with the other volunteers. I would spend weekends doing different activities which was always easy to organise. I went camping, coffee tour, local markets and even visited a Maasai village!

Monika (GHTA founder) is an inspirational woman and I felt privileged to be part of of such a great project. She is passionate and totally committed to GHTA.

I still get very emotional when I reflect on my experiences at GHTA. While I feel worlds away now that I'm back at home, I hold onto those memories that will last a life time.

What would you improve about this program?
I have no critical feedback.

If your looking for a hands on experience with a grass roots organisation this is the one!

Monika happily provides information and I think she even offers to Skype if you want to meet her and get a tour of the house and classrooms.
Default avatar
TCard
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First Time Volunteer Abroad

I had the opportunity to volunteer with GHTA after graduating from university. I had spent a few months researching different organizations, and was turned off by the large size and high costs often associated with volunteering. GHTA was recommended to me by a friend, and it was the perfect fit. I was put in direct communication with the founder and executive director, Monika Fox. She was so wonderful and helpful from the moment I first inquired about GHTA, up to the day I left Moshi. My experience teaching was amazing. The small size of the organization allowed me to really get involved with every aspect of the school. I felt like I was given plenty of direction, but my opinions were also highly valued. The students were so dedicated, driven, and excited to be in school. Every day was a new experience, and although I was there to teach, the students were eager to share their experiences and culture with the volunteers. Home visits were also arranged once a week with a different student from class. These were a great way to really get to know an individual student, and experience first hand what life is like in Tanzania. No two home visits were the same. Finally, working side by side with the founder and executive director of a nonprofit is an invaluable experience. There is nothing like it. I was able to see how dedicated Monika is to this organization, and how her passion for education and women's equality translates into her work. Give a Heart to Africa is a truly unique and inspiring organization, and I feel lucky to be a part of that. I highly recommend this organization to anyone looking for a new and wonderful organization.

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

GHTA has my heart.

I always struggle to put my experience at Give a Heart to Africa into words. I spent two months volunteering with this very special organisation and I cannot express enough how important those two months are to me and how much I miss being in Moshi.
As a teacher I was overwhelmed at how much the students loved learning and coming to class. We shared language, culture and laughter everyday and I feel as though I was able to give many of them the opportunity to improve their skills and gain confidence in themselves. As learners, the students gave me an experience that has had a significant impact on my teaching. As friends, they gave me a warmth that stays with me still, and I believe always will.
At GHTA I felt supported and safe 100% of the time and I would recommend anyone to go there. I loved meeting and working with my fellow volunteers, all of whom were interesting, gorgeous people. From my perspective, GHTA is making a very positive contribution to the community and meeting its goals to empower women of Moshi. I can't wait to be at GHTA again at some point in the future and hope that many other volunteers do the same.

What would you improve about this program?
There's really nothing I would change. Obviously, larger classrooms would be ideal but the program itself works well.
Default avatar
Stephanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding volunteer experience

I had the opportunity to volunteer with Give a Heart to Africa after studying international development and graduating from university. I was looking for an opportunity to have a hands-on experience in Tanzania. I fortunately came across Give a Heart to Africa in my efforts to find an organization to volunteer with. Unlike the others that I found, Give a Heart to Africa was a perfect fit for me because all of my volunteer fees went directly to the cause, rather than holding up administrative costs (as large-scale organizations tend to have).
Even more than that though, Give a Heart to Africa gave me the experience of directly working with the people that I wanted to help. I had the pleasure of meeting such incredible women, who touched my life in more ways than I touched theirs, I'm sure.
I also worked alongside other volunteers who were as passionate and open-minded about education, women's rights and learning about a new culture and way of life.
As this was my first over-seas experience, I was a bit nervous and didn't know what to expect. But everyone at Give a Heart to Africa was so supportive and any worries I had went away as soon as I landed and met the great team.

I highly recommend Give a Heart to Africa to any volunteer who is passionate about making a difference in this world.

What would you improve about this program?
I would not change a thing about my experience or the program. I have only positive feedback to give and I am open to receiving any questions or concerns from any prospective volunteers who are interested to learn more.
Default avatar
alang047
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Volunteer Experience

I volunteered with GHTA after graduating from university. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity that would allow me to make a direct and positive impact in a developing country, and GHTA was the perfect match. You are able to connect with the students, learn their stories, and help them to achieve their goals. The school is a wonderful environment, in a great city. All of the volunteers live and work together solidifying their bond, and making GHTA a positive social experience as well. Monika is a wonderful resource who ensures that your time at GHTA is safe, fun and rewarding. Definitely consider GHTA if you are looking to volunteer abroad.

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

Go to Tanzania

Whether you are an experienced traveller, international development student or even a first time volunteer, Give a Heart to Africa is an incredible organization to work with. Monika runs an amazing school for adults who are truly striving to better their situation. In every classroom you will be building personal connections and interacting with students who have an unbelievable desire and dedication to learning. These students will show you what it really means to take nothing for granted. This organization also encourages and promotes friendship and cultural exchanges with the students. As a result, you will learn just as much as you teach during this experience.
Monika and her staff are incredibly welcoming, hospitable, and helpful. Working for a smaller organization allows you to witness what really goes into making projects like this work. You understand your role more fully and I believe you build stronger connections with the organization's staff, your fellow volunteers and the students.
Tanzania is a beautiful country, filled with beautiful people and this is a beautiful organization. Do not hesitate to volunteer with Give a Heart to Africa.