Be The Change in Children’s Lives. Global Volunteers Tanzania!

Video and Photos

Children in Tanzania
Children in Tanzania
Volunteers working with the local people in a school
Volunteers working with the local people in a school


Volunteer in 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 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

Questions & Answers


based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 8.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
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.

Default avatar
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.
Default avatar
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.

Default avatar
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!

Default avatar
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

Default avatar
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!

Default avatar
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

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Returned to Pommern

This was my second experience with Global Volunteer's and both trips were to Pommern, Tanzania. The 3 weeks I spent in the village made me truly appreciate everything in my life as well as help me understand how fun life should be. The time I spent with Moses (who worked along side us, but spoke little English), Mohammed (our driver, wildlife expert, and overall goof-ball), Edward (our experienced team leader), and all the children made this trip a special one that i will never forget.
It was especially difficult for me to leave this time because I have no clue if I will ever be back to that beautiful village again. The first trip I went with my sister as a graduation present and now, 4 years later, I am graduating again, this time into the real world. The children will warm your hearts (probably steal it as well) with their smiles, laughter, and work ethic.
The program is simply amazing and the team you are with while in Tanzania are nothing but professionals. Pommern will always have a place in my heart and I hope to return again someday. As Edward put it, "maybe next time with a little Geoffrey".

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The trip of a lifetime!

Our experiences with Global Volunteers in Tanzania have exceeded anything we could have imagined. Each trip has been uniquely rewarding, yet always filled with wonder, fun, and fulfillment. Having traveled with my teenage sons, each of our teams have been incredible mixtures from all walks of life: from college students, parents and retired professionals, to current teachers, engineers, and medical professionals. There was something to tantalize the interests of everyone on our teams.

In the village of Pommern there are many opportunities to become involved in the community and the team manager, Edward Mgeni, works tirelessly to meet your interests. On different trips my sons and I have:
* taught kindergarten, grammar and conversational English to primary school children, and computer skills and geography to secondary school students
* worked on labor projects to build a new kitchen for the secondary school, repair dorms, planted tree seedlings, and worked on a village water project.
* assisted in the village clinic with maternal and baby well visits, assisted doctor in record keeping and taking vital signs, and assisted with immunization program at a remote village.
* made friends with staff and other villagers who have taught us to cook traditional meals, honed our water-fetching and fire-building skills, invited my sons to join the village soccer team, and hosted us in their homes for dinner and basket making lessons

I smiled to myself when the review survey asked me to rate the "social life" opportunities. While it may not be Picadilly Circus, Pommern has given us many experiences beyond compare. For example, during the 2010 World Cup, the local Catholic Church rented a satellite dish, generator, and projector. Each night as the games of the World Cup were projected onto the wall of a small village store, we were thrilled beyond words to cram together with the rest of the village and cheer on each goal and flop! Quieter, yet no less thrilling, moments included having tea in the home of the oldest woman in the village, playing with the kids, and learning enough Kiswahili in order to successfully barter and buy vegetables at the market!

What has truly made our trips with GV the most impactful (and has kept us coming back for more) has been the friendships we have formed in the village of Pommern itself. The team leader and staff treat each volunteer as if they are treasured members of his family and village community. They took great care to teach us about their country, village, language, and customs, constantly striving to provide for us the best experience possible. The village of Pommern is a long journey from the US, but your all of your efforts and expense will be repaid beyond measure once you embark on the journey of a lifetime!