Location
  • Tanzania
    • Arusha
Length
2 to 24 weeks
Project Types
Childcare Education Teaching Health Medical

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
17
Timeframe
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse Hostel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
375
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 07, 2023
Dec 01, 2023
17 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer in Tanzania with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteer abroad organisation with programs based in Arusha. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs, with a range of volunteer projects in Tanzania, including Childcare • English Teaching & Medical opportunities.

PMGY Tanzania have projects located in the northern city of Arusha, the gateway to many of the country’s spectacular national parks. The Tanzania volunteer programs start on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month. Our projects in Tanzania run across the year and participants can join us from 2-24 weeks. Volunteers in Tanzania are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, orientation, breakfast and dinner, accommodation and local support.

Video and Photos

Impact

Ethical Impact

Plan My Gap Year is committed to providing ethical volunteer opportunities that truly benefit the local communities. We have personally vetted all of our Volunteer Programs in every destination. We support a small network of Volunteer Programs abroad that we have specifically chosen due to their efforts being sustainable for our volunteers and the local communities alike. We work closely with each of our local teams to ensure we are assessing and adapting to ensure quality experiences for all involved.

For this reason, PMGY does not provide volunteer opportunities in orphanages in any of our locations. Research and studies have shown that visiting and volunteering in orphanages has the potential to generate an industry that separates children from their families. In turn, putting children at increased risk of neglect and abuse. Therefore, we do not support these institutions with our volunteer network.

Instead, we focus on offering alternative childcare volunteer opportunities whereby children come to and from the placement setting each day. In other words, our local teams collaborate with childcare projects which do not offer any form of residential care. These are safe, responsible, and vetted projects, where participants continue to provide valued assistance supporting local staff.

Program Highlights

  • Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.
  • Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.
  • Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.
  • Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.
  • Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

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Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • 5 rating 94.74%
  • 4 rating 5.26%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.65
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.5
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 19 reviews
Default avatar
Jade
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Childcare in Arusha, Tanzania

On September the 29th, my two closest friends and I made a trip of a lifetime.

We joined the childcare program, volunteering in preschools in Arusha, Tanzania for 4 weeks. We made connections with people we'll most likely never meet again, but their impact will be remembered.

We booked the trip with PMGY, with a strong will to help and experience as much as we could. We created a fundraiser months in advance so that we could donate to the schools - we ended up doing a lot more than we realised we could.

Booking with PMGY was very simple, and we were provided with a very large handbook with lots of useful information. The taxi from the airport to the house was arranged by PMGY - a 1.5 hour drive with a gorgeous view of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The PMGY house itself is quite big, with 3 stories, and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. I realise now that we arrived in one of the busiest times, ending up with very limited space. We were cramped in the top floor - a joined bedroom, 18 people to 1 bathroom.
Getting breakfast and dinner seemed like a fight for survival; first come, first serve. Being late wasn't an option. There is a set menu, repeated each week, but you have the option of ordering delivery if you no longer want the provided options.

There are constant power outings in Tanzania, but fortunately the house has a generator. When the generator is on, it basically shakes the entire house from how loud it is, but it keeps the power on. A downside, when generator is on - there is no hot water.
So, timing your shower is crucial.
The pressure varies depending if anyone else is using the water, and it is either boiling hot or freezing cold, and don't take too long because several other people are waiting to shower.

When you arrive, you are added to the house group chat, where everyone in the house can communicate easily for various reasons, including the ordering of tuktuks from place to place.

Sim cards are organised by the coordinators. These were provided to us on the second day of arriving, as there were other volunteers arriving, so you should let your family know you might not be able to contact them immediately.
The sim card is a reasonable price, and can be topped easily. Please also keep in mind the free wifi advertised does not exist.

Before placement, you will be given an orientation with the rest of the new group. On orientation, you will be shown the most trustworthy ATM, where you can take out money - my regular debit card worked completely fine. You will be taken to the Maasai markets, where you will be taught to bargain, as you will 100% purchase something incredibly overpriced if you are not careful.

On the first day of placement, the PMGY coordinators organised the volunteers into separate groups to be sent to each school. We were allowed to change our schools with a good reason. We were also allowed to change to the medical program for a reasonable fee. We walked to our placements everyday, having breakfast at 8am, and setting off by 8:45am, finishing at around 12:30pm.

The 4 weeks of placement flew by, we were incredibly sad to go, every child and every teacher we met were so beautiful and welcoming of us - but 4 weeks was the perfect amount of time for me.

Weekends are free, so you have time to do lots of funs trips; eg. safari weekend, Maasai village, hot springs, waterfalls, Maasai markets etc.
It gets a little tricky to find things to do after placement, and may get a little repetitive. Spending money is necessary to get the full experience, but chilling at the house can also be fun.
It's very communal at the PMGY house, perfect for socialising, and getting to know people. Only breakfast and dinner are provided, so you need to eat out for lunch - a perfect time to explore with friends.

I spent on average 150,000 shillings ($90 AUD or $60 USD) a week, not including weekend trips or shopping for souvenirs.
We got around via tuktuks, small motor vehicles with 3 wheels (fit up to 4 people, 5 is pushing it), which are organised and ordered by the coordinators to ensure they are safe and best price.

We went to Zanzibar at the end of the trip, which is a 1 hour flight from the Arusha airport. If you are planning to go, I would 100% recommend staying in Nungwi (up north) so you are near all the activities. If you are going during your program time, you are only allowed to miss 3 days of placement, but 3-5 days is plenty of time for Zanzibar.
If you are asking my opinion, I wouldn't recommend Zanzibar. It was very overpriced, and I was very underwhelmed with my experience.

Overall, my experience with PMGY was incredible. It has changed my views of travelling immensely. Volunteering allows you to have a much bigger insight to the culture and country you travel to. I would love to travel with PMGY again, and 100% recommend to anyone who is planning on travelling for volunteering.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The only thing I'd change about my trip, is the amount of luggage I brought. I'm an over-packer, and since I was staying for 4 weeks, I took a gigantic suitcase full of many clothes I didn't end up using. It was extremely inconvenient, from the point of view that I had limited space.
Pros
  • Changed my entire perspective on travelling
  • Met so many amazing people
  • I was able to experience so many incredible things
Cons
  • It was expensive, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Scarlett
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience with PMGY Tanzania

I, along with my two friends, traveled to Tanzania and participated in the childcare program for 4 weeks in October 2023.

The booking process was very seamless, and the hefty handbook provided gave us all the information we needed to know, except for the many things that must be learned on-site. PMGY arranged an airport pick-up, which we were very grateful for after our long journey from Perth, Australia. It is about a 1.5-hour drive from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha.

We were honestly surprised by the living conditions upon arrival. I believe October is a very popular time, so the house was full to capacity, and we felt a bit piled on top of each other. We were placed in a small room with 4 bunk beds on the top floor. There was very little room to put our stuff, and we shared a bathroom with the adjoining room (18 people sharing one bathroom). There are often power outages in Tanzania, but we were lucky to have a generator at the house, which is usually switched on shortly after power cuts. However, when the generator is on, there is no hot water, so showers were often cold. Eventually, we were able to move to a smaller room with its own bathroom, which is always a possibility. Keep in mind that the ‘free WiFi’ advertised on the website does not exist. However, you will be provided with a SIM card for a very reasonable price, and this can be topped up whenever needed. For us, this wasn’t available until the day after we arrived, so ensure your family is aware you may not be able to contact them right away.

The coordinators were beyond helpful with everything we needed. There was always someone around to assist us or answer our questions. There is also a WhatsApp group chat with everyone in the house and the coordinators, making it easy to communicate and ask for the generator to be turned on or order a tuk-tuk, etc.

We had an orientation day during which we visited some major sights, had a local lunch, and, of course, withdrew Tanzanian shillings from the ATM. My regular debit card worked just fine at the ATM. I spent about 150,000 TZS each week ($60 USD) plus extra for safari, weekend trips, and souvenirs.

The volunteering experience was obviously the highlight of the trip. We were able to do some fundraising months prior to arriving, which was amazing, as we were able to provide a school with painted walls, desks, windows, school supplies, and much more. I would definitely recommend setting up a fundraising page, as a little goes a very, very long way for these schools. You can switch schools at any time with good reason. Also, you can switch to the medical program from childcare/teaching for $150 USD and switch to childcare/teaching from medical for free.

I recommend packing modest clothing. As a tourist in Africa, you already draw a lot of attention to yourself, and it’s very important to respect the culture and protect yourself. You can have your clothes washed by the mamas for a very cheap price; however, we did our own washing by hand to avoid our clothes getting mixed up. Bring extra towels and lots of comfy clothes, as you will appreciate these luxuries.

The food is a set menu of basic meals that repeats each week. Some meals are better than others, but all are tolerable. You can order food deliveries anytime you don’t think you can stomach rice and beans again. If you are a vegetarian or planning on eating vegetarian, make sure you let PMGY know on your application, as the ratio of vegetarians to vegetarian food was way off, and we often went hungry.

Keep in mind that Zanzibar is a short and pretty cheap flight away from Arusha. You can go to Zanzibar during your program as long as you aren’t missing more than 3 days of placement (3-5 days is plenty in Zanzibar). You can also go at the end of your placement and potentially fly home from there to prevent extra hassle.

Being able to volunteer in Tanzania was the experience of a lifetime, and PMGY made that possible.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers on this program is to be prepared for anything. Life in Tanzania, and Africa in general is completely different from western life which can be difficult but is overall such an amazing experience. You'll be excited to go home to your home comforts but you'll always miss Tanzania.
Pros
  • Directly impacting the lives of underprivileged children
  • Meeting people from all over the world
  • Going on safari
Cons
  • Cold showers
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Victoria
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experience, would highly recommend

I had the best two weeks ever, the staff were kind and accommodating and the fellow volunteers I met on the programme were so friendly. I completed the hospital programme in Arusha, it was highly enriching and eye-opening. I was able to immerse myself in a completely new country and culture and meet so many new people. On the weekends we had the opportunity to go on day trips, safaris or to Zanzibar, and those trips I'd also recommend as the landscape is stunning and there are endless things to see and do.

Pros
  • Full of culture
  • Chance to meet many people from all walks of life
  • Very flexible programme
Cons
  • Outer trips can be expensive
  • Power cuts are often but manageable
83 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Maggie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Time in Tanzania

I had the most wonderful time in Tanzania! Volunteering at the hospital was one of the most eye opening experiences I have even been a part of. I loved getting immersed in the culture and learning to greet the locals in Swahili and bargain at the markets. The landscapes and animals that I saw were beyond anything I expected and I highly recommend a safari to the Serengeti if possible. Above all my favorite part was all of the great people I met!! It was so cool to be living with people from 10+ countries and learning about their lingo and way of life as well.

Pros
  • Safari to the Serengeti
  • Immersed in new culture
  • Felt so safe
Cons
  • Short volunteer days
  • Lunch not provided
90 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Fanny
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Childcare - July 2022

Childcare - July 2022
All I can do is recommand Plan My Gap Year as a first (or not) experience in voluntering. Im only 18 and it was my first time out of Europe so I was kind of scared of how things would go, but all of the coordinators (Angel, Halima, James, Elias and Huruma) are there for you whenever you need them, they make sure you feel confortable everyday and treat you like they’ve known you for a long time! For example, you could feel a bit homesick on arrival which is completely normal, but all the coordinators will do anything that’s in their power to help you feel better.
When going to town, some of the local people will try to get more money from as they can see you are a tourist and don’t know the price of the local stuffs, but again the coordinators will be behind you and will explain to you as soon as you arrive what price you should pay for everything, they are also ready to « fight » any person that would still try to get more money away from their little baby volunteers !
The accomodation was simply amazing, everything you need and most of all : always super clean !! The mamas take care of the food, but also of the cleanliness of the house. They change the sheets of all the beds every couple of days.
I wouldn’t change my placement even if I could, that school was really one of the kind that needs volunteers to « function »
I feel grateful for this experience and I will come back as soon as possible

94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Andrea
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

PMGY Tanzania

Had the most incredible experience, especially being an American. I volunteered with several people from around the world. It was amazing getting to know everyone, and sharing this experience with them. Arusha is a wonderful place to volunteer since it is know hotspot for volunteers. The location in which we lived was amazing, cozy and convenient. It wasn't far away from the hospital and it was right in town. We as all the amenities we needed and the staff was amazing. Thank you Queenie and Jodie, and the rest of the staff at the Mulberry for keeping us safe, informed, and having fun with us. The staff is also incredibly helpful in setting up Safaris and weekend getaways. I wouldn't change a thing.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps in the hospital department. We primarily volunteered at Mt Meru district hospital but I think it would benefit us greatly if we were able to see other hospitals in Arusha.
129 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Melissa
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Arusha

The whole experience was amazing, I felt prepared before I left and was greeted at the airport and taken to the volunteer house. I volunteered at Nourish school and orphanage and it was such a rewarding experience. No two days were the same, we also visited a baby orphanage and that was emotional. The experience was amazing and I've made lifelong friends who I hope to volunteer with again in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
More variety of food
136 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lucy
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Tanzania Medial Placement

I spent 2 weeks in Arusha at a Medical placement with PMGY and I cannot recommend it enough !! The staff were so helpful before getting to the country and whilst there, they provided 24 hour support to all the volunteers. The accomodation was a lot nicer then I had expected and the food wasn't too bad. There were always other volunteers around to hang out with during time off and there are lots of things to do. On the weekends and days off the staff can help you plan trips away so that you can explore Tanzania which was really good. There is a bar and restaurant at the volunteer house which was good and town is literally only a 2 minute walk away. I can't wait to plan my next trip with PMGY and even return to Tanzania because it was such an amazing place ! Ideally next time I would like to go from a little more time 3-4 weeks as 2 weeks was only just enough to settle in and meet some new friends.

138 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers