Change Families' Lives in Tanzania

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Volunteer in East Africa with Global Volunteers for one to three weeks! Volunteers have the opportunity to help local communities improve their livelihoods by teaching, constructing and repairing local schools, and promoting healthy habits. This is a great chance for all types of volunteers (individuals, families, and groups) to assist in the community development of a rural village in Tanzania.

- Teach English, math, science, and geography in elementary and middle schools.
- Help with homework and study skills.
- Help with local public health campaigns.
- Set an example for good health, nutrition, and hygiene habits like washing hands.
- Support education of young girls.
- Establish and maintain gardens.
- Build, paint, and repair facilities like classrooms and dormitories.
- Work with pregnant and new mothers and their children.

  • Immerse yourself in Tanzanian culture.
  • Lodge comfortably in Global Volunteers' guesthouse in spacious rooms with electricity, hot and cold water, and private bathrooms.
  • Work alongside Tanzanians on groundbreaking initiatives to support children and families who need it most.
  • All logistics (except for international airfare) arranged by our staff, so you can focus on volunteering.
  • Global Volunteers' policy: safety trumps everything. Volunteers are well taken care of by their Team Leader while on a service program.


If you get off the beaten track and follow the dusty, bumpy East African roads, you will find traditional villages where life is lived in startling simplicity. Entire communities celebrate a birth, applaud a youngster’s passage into adulthood, cheer a new married couple, and mourn a death. Here you will experience a way of life vastly different from your own, help a community struggling to care for its children, and hopefully learn more about yourself along the way.

The needs are great in rural Tanzania. Life is a hard, day-to-day struggle to survive off the land. Medical supplies are inadequate, food and nutrition are too often insufficient, and access to quality education is limited. The work of Global Volunteers in Tanzania, through the help of our volunteers and staff, supports these communities in achieving a better quality of life.

Global Volunteers’ program is located in the highlands of south central Tanzania, about a two-hour drive from Iringa. Volunteers serve in a variety of capacities from supporting pregnant women to teaching math and sciences to secondary school students. As a short-term volunteer in Tanzania with Global Volunteers, you can make a difference in the lives of Tanzanian families.

Questions & Answers


9.7 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 10
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Global Volunteers Reaching Children's Potential Program in Tanzania -

In January 2020, I spent 3 weeks working with the people of the rural villages of Ipalamwa and Mkalanga, Tanzania. Our volunteer group consisted of people from around the USA and New Zealand, with Winnie as our amazing team leader. The remote villages of this area have no electrical service or modern plumbing. Our team members did classroom teaching in the schools of Mkalanga and Ipalwama villages and participated in home visits. The nurses in our group led health workshops and worked in the medical clinic. The purpose of the Reaching Children's Potential Program is to prevent childhood stunting so that healthy children can reach their full potential. The Global Volunteers Health Clinic is an important and vital resource to the community. The home visits provide needed support to the families in the program. Working with the children in the kindergarten and second grade and going on home visits were the most rewarding experiences for me personally. This life-changing program in rural Tanzania is one of the most meaningful and memorable ventures I have ever participated in.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go with a willingness to serve and a loving heart. This volunteer journey will transform your life.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Reaching Children’s Potential

I was a member of one of the first teams to travel to ipalamwa, Tanzania to establish the Reaching Children’s Potential program. It was a great privilege to be a part of such an important volunteer experience. Experts in health, child development,
education and community developmenr with a commitment to eradicating childhood stunting were on a shared mission. While we worked in an isolated village, we always felt safe. Our lodging in the closest town was quite comfortable and close to restaurants where the team could review the day’s accomplishments.
Global Volunteers has established a very well organized international program overnight as well as in country management. The volunteer teams worked along side Tanzanian families and other community members in a joyful way.
This experience will be with me always.

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Yes, I recommend this program

How can I help?

I am of a mind set that we are here to Learn, Love, and Grow. The best way I know to do that is to be available when someone or something "asks for help". The beautiful thing about my experiences with Global Volunteers service programs is that is exactly what is happening! Instead of imposing what we think is best for the situation, the community asks for help in what they think is best for them. With that in mind, it requires one to step out of our daily fast paced routine and step into the lives and time lines of a different culture. This is part of the experience that can be frustrating if you don't allow yourself to shift your perspective and see things differently. For example, in Tanzania, the term "first thing in the morning" could be anywhere from 8:00am to 11:00am because that may be the first time they can spare from there essential routines to participate in projects. Once you realize that the people are making an extreme effort to be part of the program and that when they do show up at 8:00 am it was it reflects how grateful they are, and even when they show up at 11:00 that means their family requirements took longer than anticipated and that we were actually STILL a high priority because they showed up and were grateful! Keeping in mind that most of the people in the village don't have easy access to water, don't have electricity, and certainly don't have watches then you realize that time is not as critical or important as it is to us. The thing that sticks with me (after that shift in perception) is knowing that whatever it was that I was asked to help with(and it varied from construction, to teaching, to just sitting and listening) is what they needed at the time, and the joy and gratitude expressed by the team leaders, staff, community hosts, and members of the village at our participation in the things needed to make life better for their families and loved ones now and future generations is truly genuine! It takes a special type of person to volunteer to help someone else , if you are still reading my review, YOU are that special type of person and I highly recommend Global Volunteers to help you to Learn, Love, and Grow!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Know that by just going (with the flow) and being there you are "planting seeds of hope" and that is important.
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Yes, I recommend this program


My experience in Tanzania was completely unforgettable. I went without expectations and only a desire to help. I was rewarded daily with a new challenge and a new learning experience. I was able to teach Civics, teach English, work in rural clinics, work in an AIDS clinic, plant trees, weigh babies, and more.

The community was extremely friendly and welcoming. My only regret is that I didn't spend more time there. The program is well-integrated into the community and is well-respected. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will stay with you forever.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Pommerini, Tanzania

I'm an 18-year-old girl who is currently taking a "Service Gap Year," volunteering in impoverished countries around the world between high school and college. My first experience was six weeks in Tanzania with Global Volunteers (I combined two three-week sessions). It was beyond incredible. I taught English and chemistry classes at the Secondary School, helped to repair the secondary school library, tutored chemistry, English, geography, math, and history. All the classes at the secondary school are taught in English, so many of the students want to practice their conversational English with the volunteers!

I also worked at the village clinic, attended mass, went on a short hike to the stream and waterfall in the village, and much much more! It's a great community to be a part of, and I always felt safe.

I would definitely recommend this service experience to anyone looking to experience the "real" Africa and to make a difference. It's not a luxurious experience, but the volunteer accommodations are incredible and Mama Toni's food is fantastic. Edward, Mohammed, and Mama Toni take wonderful care of all of the volunteers, and provide a great connection between the volunteers and community members.

I was so inspired by my experience in Pommern that I launched a project to send solar lights to the students at Pommern Secondary School. If you are interested in the project, you can visit my page at

I highly recommend this program, and am already looking at planning the next time I will volunteer!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I Cherish my 3 Trips to Ipalamwa Tanzania

Each day starts with the Roosters crowing and the school bell for the students to get up and fetch water from the river...well, we sleep a little longer. Momma Tony has breakfast ready by 7am and we are ready to learn of the days projects: teaching in the class rooms and what ever the local school/village needs for construction (i.e. collecting large rocks, digging sand, carrying bricks, building door frames, painting, and so on.) The projects start about 8am...Tanzania time is not the same as Western Time. They don't wear watches, so everything starts when everyone is gathered and ready to start. One of the many reasons I love to get away from home & work for 3 weeks and disconnect from laptops, blackberry, iPad, schedules, etc.
Lunch break is mid-day and then there is a few hours to walk around the village to meet and share thoughts with students and villagers or do what you want. Work starts up late afternoon for a few hours, usually the carrying of bricks and having supplies at site for work the next day; it just all depends on the local project.
Once we're done with the project and awaiting dinner to be ready, we all gather around "the benches" to watch Students, Teachers and/or villagers play football (soccer) in the field, as well as play Draft, which is similar to checkers, and scrabble. The students LOVE to win at scrabble, which is always in English.
During dinner we talk of the accomplishments for the day and many times have guests (teachers, villagers, students) to share their life with us and for us to share with them.
I've loved each experience I've had in Ipalamwa, Tanzania (Nov 2008, Oct 2009, Sept 2010). The Global Volunteer Staff is now family to me. I look forward to returning in December 2012

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Yes, I recommend this program

An Outstanding Service Opportunity in Tanzania

My wife and I have visited Pommern, Tanzania three times since 2008 with Global Volunteers (GV). We did considerable research on organizations that offer short-term service opportunities in Africa and picked GV because of their written philosophy of service and stated policies of working side-by-side with the community. The community is in charge and decides on priorities, rather than a group of Western visitors telling the local community what to do.

The program fee covers all expenses once in country - initial lodging in Dar es Salaam, meals, all transportation, lodging enroute, lodging in the village, materials for work projects and other stuff as it comes up. It pays for the full time involvement of Edward,the Tanzania Country Team leader (a Pommern resident)and Mohamed, the assistant team leader/driver for the entire service trip, and Mama Tonny, a local woman cook while in the village.

During our service trips we assisted in teaching English and Geography classes in the Secondary School, Kindergarten classes, helped at a monthly well-baby clinic and at an HIV/AIDS clinic. We worked on work projects funded by GV and requested by the community or Secondary School, such as painting classrooms and mixing concrete by hand to build walls in a new school kitchen.

We were warmly welcomed to the community and Edward always seeks ways to involve volunteers more fully. We clearly felt our presence made a positive difference for the community. We felt over our three trips we made some life-long friends in the community. Edward and Mohamed work very hard to ensure everyone, consistent with their abilities, can contribute their skills and talents to the community and make a difference. Mama Tonny is a great cook and feeds everyone very well with big, tasty meals. Most meals are vegetarian with occassional meat. Everything is fresh and the fruit is awesome! Lodging is in a 1900s era Mission House built for German missionaries. We were impressed our first time Pommern, a rural subsistence farming community, to find such comfortable accommodations, with flush toilets and running (nonpotable) water. Ample bottled water is provided by GV. Electricity is usually available in the evenings from a small generator. Mama Tonny gladly heats water for sun showers. During our trips we were able to attend both a local wedding and a funeral.

We highly recommend GV for a service trip to Tanzania. It is an outstanding experience and way to meet and interact with the community as equals and not tourists. We will definitely travel again with GV to Tanzania!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

The leader was wonderful in making sure we were happy with our placement and arranged interesting after hours experience. The teachers were wonderful in explaning their situation. Will come again